Dashing toward Colonial Relays

Sophomore distance runner Emily Ritter breaks Rider’s indoor mile record. She was the March Rider Athlete of the Month.

By Tom Albano

With the weather starting to get warmer, the track and field team is getting ready for action, as it is set to participate in the Colonial Relays in Williamsburg, Va., today and April 6.

The Broncs go into the Colonial Relays coming off a successful start to the spring portion of their season with positive results in both the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Ram Invitational and Lafayette Invitational last month.

Head Coach Bob Hamer is impressed so far and proud of the team’s accomplishments.

“Winning is a habit,” Hamer said. “It’s been a really nice start. Everyone is very encouraged with the success.”

The Broncs proved themselves during the VCU Ram Invitational with solid performances from freshman sprinters/jumpers Dashana Ransome and La’tazah Coleman, and sophomore distance runner Emily Ritter. Senior jumper James Burroughs and senior distance runner Corey O’Neill also had strong performances. The event, however, was cut short because of inclement weather.

The success continued with the Lafayette Invitational on March 30. The Broncs provided a strong performance at the event — so strong, in fact, that both the men’s and women’s teams took first place out of the nine schools that competed in the meet. Needless to say, the teams were very happy with these results.

“The girls’ team won the meet by about 40 or so points, same thing with the boys,” said senior Mia Riley, a sprinter and thrower. “It was a really good meet. It was nice weather for once this year, which is always a great thing. It’s usually really windy and cold. So, we had really nice weather, and we got really good performances out of it.”

While there have been positive results, the teams have been trying to improve even more for the upcoming competition.

Hamer added that although errors need to be corrected, “we’re pretty confident that over the next few weeks we can make necessary adjustments and be where we need to be.”

Riley noted that Colonial is a different type of meet than VCU and Lafayette.

“It’s such a wide-ranging meet,” she said. “It’s very competitive. There are teams from the southern region that we don’t really get to see that often. So, to compete against them, we just kind of have to be sharp and crisp, making sure that we have really good technique.”

Nonetheless, the teams are planning to capitalize on their recent victories in both VCU and Lafayette, while at the same time shifting the focus to individual performances.

Hamer said that while the team has its own collective goals, each member must perform well individually too.

“In order for the team to be good, each athlete must do his or her job,” he said. “We collectively add up all the performances. Each individual needs to be the best they can be in their specific event.”

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