By Rocco Schirripa
The Rider track and field team did not have a hard time standing out this weekend when it competed at the Larry Ellis Invitational in Princeton.
“We have some upper-class experience now that is mentally prepared for this type of high-pressure meet,”Head Coach Bob Hamer told Rider Sports Information. “It takes a while for the athletes to battle through some of the frustrations and ups and downs of their performances. As strong as you are physically, you have to be just as strong mentally to handle the adversity and overcome it. We are really starting to do that and break through as a team.”
The weekend’s gloomy conditions did not hold the Broncs back from setting qualifying times and personal bests on both days.
For the women on day one, senior Alicia Price was second in the hammer throw while getting an ECAC qualifying distance of 51.50 meters.
Also, senior Jennifer Alksmant came in 13th in the hammer throw, and freshman Catherine Remaley was 14th in the hammer throw as well as 15th in the discus. Junior Chelsea Callan placed 28th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and senior Kelley Kohler finished 51st in the 5,000 meter.
On the men’s side, junior Christian Gonzalez finished ninth in the 1,500 meter, which qualified him for the IC4A’s.
Senior Brandon Wolf finished 12th in the hammer throw, and freshman Greg Wesh placed 16th in the 800 meter. Freshman Richard Verrall also placed 12th in the hammer throw.
On the second day, the Broncs came out looking to finish what seemed like a promising weekend for them.
“We had a lot of great performances on a day where the weather wasn’t very cooperative,” Hamer told Rider Sports Information. “It was still a great environment, and our athletes did very well.”
For the men, Wesh finished first in the 1,500 meter, freshman Jammar Lim came in fourth in the long jump and freshman David Hightower came in sixth in the 110-meter hurdles with an IC4A qualifying time of 14.55. He finished 29th in 400-meter hurdles.
For the women, Ashley Hunter placed third in 400-meter hurdles and 17th in the 100-meter hurdles, while freshman Erin Smith came in fourth in the javelin.
“Our team did very well at the Larry Ellis Memorial Invitational, especially in the throws,” Smith said. “Almost every thrower set personal records including myself in the javelin throw.”
Hunter said she was pleased with everyone’s efforts in spite of the poor weather.
“Our team did quite well overall especially considering the conditions,” she said. “We had some great performances despite the weather, and I think we are continuing to prove that Rider track and field is a team of athletes with not only great athletic ability but a lot of heart and determination as well.”
Rider moves on to compete in the Penn Relays and the TCNJ Invitational over the weekend.
“I think we made a lot of positive progress at the Larry Ellis Memorial Invitational,” said Wesh. “Overall, it really seems like the team is really beginning to perform and compete with purpose.”