By Victoria Lyons
After hosting the Rider Invitational this past weekend, the track and field team competes in Princeton at the Larry Ellis Invitational today and Saturday.
With the MAAC Championships approaching, both the men and the women will work to have strong performances in the final stretch of the season.
According to Head Coach Bob Hamer, there will be tough teams at the Larry Ellis Invitational, giving the athletes a chance to compete at a high level.
“We are looking to continue to improve on our performances and to continue to prepare for the championship portion for the season,” he said.
As for the Rider Invitational, the Broncs came up short as a team, but had many wins on individual bases.
“We competed very well at the meet and accomplished the things that I was looking for,” Hamer said. “I wanted effort and focus on the process of competing and the results will eventually follow.”
The men placed second out of 10 teams while the women came in third out of eight teams. Both the men and the women of Monmouth finished first at the meet.
“We were hoping to beat Monmouth, but they are a very good team,” Hamer said. “We are missing some athletes because of an injury that could have made a little difference, but they are the better team right now.”
On the men’s side, sophomore Steven Brown won the triple jump and the long jump while junior David Hightower qualified for IC4As in the 110-meter hurdles, earning first place.
Freshman George Solujich qualified for IC4As in the shot-put, senior Ron Moore won the 400-meter hurdles and graduate student Mike Soroko placed first in the 1,500-meter.
For the Rider women, senior Heather Giovagnoli finished first in 800-meter, setting a new Rider record.
“I knew that she had an outside shot of getting the record, but I was impressed more with the way she is competing so confidently right now, which will lead to bigger accomplishments down the road,” Hamer said. “I am also very excited for her because she has worked hard to achieve those marks.”
Giovagnoli has set a new Rider record in each of the past three meets, breaking the 3,000-meter record at the Lafayette 7-Way followed by the 1,500-meter record at the Colonial Relays.
“Indoor went really well and I knew that if things kept going my way and I kept training hard I would be successful outdoors, but you can never really predict how things are going to be,” Giovagnoli said. “Breaking records is always fun, but I have other big goals for the season besides that.”
Other accomplishments for the women include junior Mia Riley winning the 100-meter and sophomore Treasure Burke earning an IC4A qualifying distance in the hammer throw, placing second.
At the Larry Ellis Invitational this weekend, the Rider men and women will look to qualify for IC4As while competing against some top Division I teams.
“It will provide many challenging opportunities for our athletes,” Hamer said.