By Chris Brooks
With the IC4A/ECAC Championship quickly approaching, qualifying Broncs traveled down the road to Princeton’s Weaver Stadium to compete in the Larry Ellis Invitational on April 19 and 20.
The first day of events started out slow for the Broncs, but they were able to turn it around with some strong showings on day two.
“On day one, our performances were just average, but on day two, we definitely competed much better,” Head Coach Bob Hamer said. “I felt that we had some breakthrough performances with several athletes, and it’s a good sign as we approach the championship portion of our season.”
On April 20, several Rider athletes turned in strong performances leading to IC4A/ECAC Championship qualifying marks. Freshman sprinter/jumper La’tazah Coleman had a record breaking performance, running the 200-meter dash in only 23.87 seconds, breaking the school record Erin McMullin set in 2011.
Hamer was pleased with Coleman’s efforts and feels there is more success to come in the future.
“La’tazah is very impressive, and she has a lot of talent and ability,” Hamer said. “She has broken several records this year, and if she can consistently train and prepare for her events at a high level, she will achieve great heights.”
With the end of the season right around the corner, Coleman will attempt to ride the momentum of her record-breaking sprint.
“Running that time was unbelievable, and I know it will give me that extra confidence boost as the season continues,” Coleman said. “I take all my events seriously. I trained pretty hard throughout the season despite some roadblocks and I believe I have the strength to carry myself through the rest of the season.”
Fellow freshman sprinter/jumper Dashana Ransome also found her groove at the Larry Ellis Invitational. She finished third in the 100-meter hurdles, qualifying her for the IC4A/ECAC Championship which will take place in Princeton, N.J. on May 10-12.
“Looking at the competition, I knew that the girls were fast so I tried my hardest to keep up and just run my race,” Ransome said. “After the meet was over, we had a team meeting where coach told the team exactly who had school records and IC4A/ECAC qualifiers. The team cheered and gave me praise, which is really heartwarming, and it makes me feel like I can run even faster in the next race.”
The team will look to finish its season strong in the Penn Relays on April 25-27 in Philadelphia and the Lions Invitational held in Ewing, NJ on April 27.
Hamer hopes to see more of his athletes peak at these last events and earn a spot in the IC4A/ECAC Championship.
“They consistently train at a very high level,” Hamer said. “It is nice to be rewarded with a big mark that will gain you entry into a selective championship meet.”