By Logan VanDine and Dylan Manfre
The Rider track team headed to the Armory in New York City to capture the MAAC Championship but fell short by one placement, finishing second overall in the men’s and women’s divisions.
Rider competed in the 5,000-meter run as well as the men’s distance medley relay, which finished second overall in 10 minutes, 6 seconds, 47 milliseconds, trailing only Iona College.
“The men’s DMR raced really well against a very strong field. Noah [Taylor,] Freddie [Haynesworth], and Gobi [Thurairajah] put Ben [Woodward] in a good position to have success on the final leg. Ben ran a great leg to move us up to second,” Head Coach Bob Hamer said.
In the women’s DMR, Rider placed second behind Iona with a time of 11:51.46.
Despite placing in second, Hamer was still impressed with how the women competed.
“The women raced outstanding tonight in the relay. Mackenzie [Greenfield] got things rolling and Dyani [Bigelow] and Lydia [Wallace] just kept it rolling. Teagan [Schein-Becker] did a really nice job on the final leg to secure second,” Hamer said.
Other preliminary events took place on day one, including the 60, 400, 800, 200 and 500-meter dashes, with a select group of finishers advancing to day two’s finals.
The Broncs won the individual championship in the men and women’s long jump with sophomore Zach Manorowitz soaring 7.46-meters along with freshman Mariah Stephens placing first with a distance of 5.63-meters.
“It was really exciting to get the individual champion in both the men’s and women’s long jump. Mariah [Stephens] is having an outstanding freshman season and she stepped up again to get the win. Zach [Manorowitz] has struggled a bit this season, but in training the last few weeks, he was starting to turn the corner,” he said.
On day two of the MAAC Track Championship, Rider was looking to go home as victors as both of the men and women tied for second.
In the men’s 4×400 relay, the quartet of senior James Green, sophomore Artie Burgess, junior Derian Stianche and senior Jerome Boyer, placed first in 3:16.84. Hamer spoke about his team’s success in the 4×400 meter relay.
“The men’s 4×400 closed out the meet with a big performance. We take a lot of pride in this relay and the guys really brought it tonight. James really got things rolling, and Jerome closed it out to secure the victory for the team,” said Hamer.
Green spoke about his overall performance and how he was able to take his emotions into the 4×400 after his event.
“I wasn’t too happy with myself in my individual event, but I took that emotion and channeled it for the 4×4 which we closed out becoming champions. I love everything that comes with this sport, every up and down,” Green said.
There were plenty of solid performances on the women’s side that helped the men’s and women’s teams finish in second place. One of them included freshman Mariah Stephens taking first in the women’s triple jump.
“Mariah continued her big weekend with a win in the triple jump and some strong races in the hurdles and dash. She was a really big performer for us today,” Hamer said.
Finally, in pole vaulting, junior Allie Riches won that event for her team with a score of 3.50-meters.
“It was really nice to see Riches get the win in the pole vault. She has been battling some injuries for this season and they always take a toll. However, she has persevered to get back to the top of the conference,” Hamer said.
Rider will send some groups to the Fastrack Last Chance Invitational on Feb. 25 at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex as it continues its postseason push.