By Tom Albano
The Broncs want to go out with a bang in the MAAC Championship May 4-5 which is being held here at Rider.
The track and field teams are riding into the MAAC Championship coming off the heels of both the Penn Relays held April 25-27 in Philadelphia, as well as the Lions Invitational which took place on April 27 in Ewing.
At the Penn Relays, the women’s team had a performance that broke Rider records and was described by Head Coach Bob Hamer as “tremendous.”
Record-breaking performances came from the 4 x 100 relay team of freshman Dashana Ransome, senior Mia Riley, freshman Miranda Roberts and freshman La’tazah Coleman, finishing at 47.14. The distance medley relay team of senior Megan Elgin, sophomore Ashley Edwards, freshman Madeline Hummel and sophomore Emily Ritter finished at 11:48.25. Also, senior Nicole Tassello finished the 10,000 meter in 36:50.20, breaking the Rider record by 18 seconds.
The men at the Penn Relays had one particularly notable performance coming from the 4 x 800 relay team of junior Joseph Carlin, freshman Tom McLaughlin, freshman Darien Edwards and senior Greg Wesh, who finished with an IC4A-qualifying time of 7:39.81.
The Broncs will now be training for the MAAC Championship and expect strong results on their home field.
“Our team is very well-rounded this season with great performances in the throws, field, sprints and distance events,” sophomore Emily Ritter said. “We are looking forward to competing at home with the support of Rider students.”
The Broncs have already had success with a home-field advantage this season back on April 13 at the Rider Invitational — both the men’s and women’s teams won. While the teams would love to finish first again, they are just hoping for a performance to be proud of.
“We can’t guarantee [that we will get first place],” Hamer said. “But we have the personnel and we have the confidence to do so.”
Hamer hopes the attendance of friends and family at Rider will excite his athletes.
“[Being at home] is an advantage for us,” Hamer said. “At the field events, we are definitely comfortable. A track is a track, but having a great home crowd, and having the families come out will bring encouragement to the athletes.”
While the teams have been working hard on their preparations for the MAAC Championship, Hamer stressed that the teams are ready and the athletes seem to agree.
“At this point in the season, we have completed all of the hard workouts and training necessary to bring us toward this weekend’s competitions,” Ritter said. “As long as everyone can pull together and jump, throw, run or vault to their potential, then this weekend could be one to remember.”