Broncs improve before MAAC Championships

By Jordan Hall
The Track and Field team continues to improve each meet, putting up solid performances at the Penn Relays and the TCNJ Lions Invitational last weekend.
Multiple Broncs had the honor of competing at the 115th annual Penn Relays, which was held at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, and many had successful results.
The most impressive performance came from senior Kelly Wojciehowski on Thursday as she set a Rider record in the 10,000-meter event. The Fair Haven native put up an ECAC qualifying time of 37:14.89 and came in 17th overall.
Following that was sophomore John Clark, who also had himself quite a day. The 6’3”, 240-pounder had a personal record in the discus, throwing a distance of 51.03 meters. This placed him third in the event, and it qualified him for the IC4As and almost the NCAAs.
“I came into the meet hoping to go to finals and get into the top eight, so a top three performance and personal record were fantastic,” Clark said. “It was really the confidence boost I needed going into the MAAC Championships.”
On the women’s side, seniors Kelly Kajunski and Tabatha Haskins cashed in solid efforts. Kajunski finished fourth in the high jump with a height of 5’7”, and Haskins came in eighth in the triple jump, leaping a distance of 11.66 meters.
“Penn Relays is just like any other meet to me; I don’t get overwhelmed,” Kajunski said. “I enjoy going to Penn Relays because of the atmosphere — it’s competitive.”
The men’s medley relay team finished with a time of 10:21.34, placing them 19th overall. The group consisted of sophomores Mike Soroko and Christian Gonzalez and seniors Marcellus Manning and Matt Dahl.
Capping off the event for the Broncs was the women’s 4 x 800 relay team of freshmen Heather Giovagnoli and Kristen Perrine, junior Lauren Lester and sophomore Chelsea Callan. The women set a Rider record with a time of 9:18.59, finishing 24th overall.
“I think our team did well,” Kajunski said. “We’re improving every meet.”
The Broncs carried the momentum over into the TCNJ Lions Invitational on Saturday.
Kajunski starred in the high jump, placing first with a height of 1.71 meters. She finished ninth in the long jump at 4.80 meters.
“I have a few things to work on in the high jump, but it’s coming together,” Kajunski said. “As for long jump, I need to get back to where I used to be and consistently jump at that level.”
Two other women placed  first in their respective events for the Broncs. Junior Alicia Price won the shot put with a personal record of 13.14 meters while fellow junior Jennifer Alksmant captured first in the discus at 38.60 meters.
Coming through for the men’s side were the big guys: junior Brandon Wolf, Manning and Clark. Wolf finished second in the hammer with a mark of 49.78 meters while Manning placed second in the 110 hurdles at 14.71. Clark followed up, clinching third in the shot put and discus.
Next up for the Broncs is the important MAAC Championships, which will be held this weekend here at Rider. The events start Saturday at 4 p.m.
“I think we will give Manhattan some competition,” Kajunski said. “Hopefully we have a lot of winners at MAACs and a lot of athletes going to ECAC/IC4A.”
Clark believes in his team and has high expectations as well.
“If everyone does their jobs right and competes to the best of their abilities, there is no reason why we cannot place in the top three,” he said. “As a team, we are coming into our own.”

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