By Shanna O’Mara
The women’s track and field team swept several events and took the title at its meet against defending MAAC champion Monmouth and rival Saint Peter’s on Dec. 1.
“From a team perspective, beating Monmouth, especially on their home track, is awesome,” junior Victoria Brewer said. “I’m extremely proud of my teammates.”
It was the first mile she raced, after an injury that set her back last year. She finished with a winning time of 5:34.62.
“I was really excited to see what I could run and how it would feel compared to the 800, which is what I typically race,” Brewer said. “[Assistant Coach] Brett Harvey set me up with a race plan to go out with the leader and run conservative until after the 800, then I could break away and really let it rip.”
The women also proved their skill in the long jump with freshmen Asia Young and Lindsay Bauer and sophomore Jennifer Maurer sweeping all 11 points in the event.
Young cleared a distance of 5.88 meters during her first collegiate meet.
“My goal is always to stay consistent and jump better than my previous one,” Young said. “I’ve broken several records in high school, but breaking the Rider record on my first collegiate jump was amazing. I just want to be able to help my team win.”
The Broncs also claimed the top three spots in the high jump with redshirt freshman Natalie Cowan also making impressive strides at her first meet, clearing 1.73 meters. Senior Daria Chadwick and freshman Quinn Bithell earned points in the next two positions.
“We all, especially the high jumpers, have worked really hard to improve ourselves and have a great start to this season,” Cowan said. “Winning and attempting the Rider school record really was absolutely shocking to me, but it really was a reflection of the incredible coaching here.”
The Broncs also had wins in the 60 meter dash and 60 meter hurdle race. Sophomore Tierra Taylor finished the 60 meter dash first in 7.95 seconds followed by freshman Cheyenne Churchville just three tenths of a second behind. Sophomore Sara Gardner claimed the 60 meter hurdle title in 8.86 seconds, and Chadwick placed second in 9.02 seconds.
Other top performances included sophomore Destiny Kearney winning the triple jump and redshirt freshman Ronetta Hunter claiming the shotput title.
The men defeated Saint Peter’s but fell to Monmouth. The team was led by senior Erik Adamcik who qualified for the IC4As with a pole vault win and Rider-record height of 4.95 meters.
“It felt great to get a good jump in the first meet,” Adamcik said. “I think it was a great place to start and plan to move the momentum forward next week at Princeton. I am also very pleased with the success of the team, and I’m excited to see us progress towards the end goal of being the best team possible at MAACs.”
With several upperclassmen whose efforts will combine with the talent of the rookies, the team has high hopes for the season.
“From the key returners we have now, and the impact freshman who came in, I was expecting [the meet results] to be close,” said sophomore Michael Horn, who earned five points for his team in the triple jump, clearing a distance of 14.54 meters. “The triple jump was really good. [Assistant Coach Bob Marchetti] has really been working hard with me on it, and it showed.”
Brewer recognized a level of commitment from her team that she believes can carry it through the season.
“I saw a lot of heart and dedication and a lot of hard work on the track,” she said. “Our freshmen really impressed me. We have a long way to go until MAACs, and winning this meet isn’t going to make the journey any easier for us, but we definitely sent a huge message to Monmouth and the entire conference that we aren’t going down without a fight.”
The men and women will compete at the Princeton New Year’s Invite on Dec. 11.