By Victoria Lyons
The Rider track and field team competed in the Larry Ellis Invitational this past Friday and Saturday in Princeton. The men showed they have the ability to compete on the big stage, with some of them qualifying for the IC4A’s.
This week the Broncs will head into the Penn Relays and the TCNJ Invitational hoping to continue their past successes.
On Friday, senior Christian Gonzalez finished second in the mile with a time of 4:04.29, while senior Michael Soroko placed third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, earning an IC4A qualifying time of 8:52.22, also breaking a Rider record.
“Mike has worked real hard to get back to his desired fitness level after battling some injuries,” Hamer said. “I am real excited for him because this is another step closer to where he would like to be at the end of the season. He has a lot of good races ahead of him this year.”
Sophomore Jorge Merino placed fifth in the discus with a distance of 48.94 meters on Friday and placed tenth in the shot put with a throw of 15.48 meters on Saturday. Sophomore Sean Donohue had a time of 14:46.55 in the 5,000-meter.
“Sean had a great night achieving a big personal best by 24 seconds in the 5000,” Hamer said.
As for Saturday, sophomore David Hightower finished fifth in the 110-meter hurdles in 14.60, while sophomore James Burroughs was right behind in eighth with a time of 14.74, both IC4A qualifying times.
“Dave and James have been very consistent all year and it was real exciting to see both of them run very well this weekend,” Hamer said. “They train very hard together and it is great to see them achieving the success that they have worked so hard for.”
For the women, sophomore Erin McMullin placed 10th in the 400-meter with a time of 56.92, and sophomore Mia Riley tied for third in the 100-meter in 12.28.
“Mia continued her very successful season,” said Hamer. “She is such a great competitor and it is fun watching her compete.”
The relays also had strong performances, with the women’s 4×100 relay consisting of senior Shaylah Counts, Riley, senior Jillian Rubbico and McMullin finishing sixth in 48.89, while the men’s 4×100 of sophomore Perry Asare, Hightower, Burroughs and sophomore Daequan Kim came in fifth with a time of 42.31.
The Broncs are prepared for their competition at Penn Relays and the TCNJ Invitational.
“Penn Relays is such a great event,” Hamer said. “Everyone who is involved in track and field gets excited for Penn Relays. We will be competing with the strongest Rider team we have had in a long time and we are excited about what we can accomplish at TCNJ. We will be looking to achieve some final marks for the upcoming conference championships.”
Looking ahead, the Rider track and field team has the MAAC Championship, which the Broncs are hosting. Last year, both the men and women were in close grasp of victory, but finished a close second to Manhattan.
“We are looking to contend for the championship on the men’s side,” Hamer said. “Manhattan is a very formidable foe and they come prepared every year to win. We are hopeful that we can match them and overtake them at the end.
Hamer has high hopes for both teams.
“We have had a very successful outdoor season and we just need to compete on that day and we will achieve our goals,” he said.