By Michael Mack
The men’s and women’s track teams were home last weekend for the Rider Invitational. The men placed first out of seven teams while the women placed second out of nine.
The women’s team was led by freshman Ashley Hunter, who won the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdles.
“I’m happy with my performance,” Hunter said. “All the hard work I’ve put in throughout the season is finally paying off.”
Also helping out her team was freshman Mia Riley, who won the 100-meter dash and placed third in the 200 meter. However, Riley still feels that she has work to do.
“I thought I had a good performance in some areas,” Riley said. “And I saw some of the other areas that I had to work on to improve myself.”
Other impressive performances for the women’s team include a win in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for freshman Jillian Shutt, a win in the 800 meter for junior Johanna Clarke and a win in the 200 meter and second-place finish in the 100 meter for junior Shaylah Counts. This all added up to a close second-place finish for the team, much to the delight of Hunter.
“The team performed extremely well overall,” Hunter said. “We are a very strong team in all events both in field and on the track.”
The men’s team was also led by the outstanding performance of several freshmen. Jammar Lim won the long jump as well as the high jump and placed second in the 400-meter hurdles. His fellow freshman, David Hightower, won the 110-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles.
“I feel like my performance was fairly good at this point in the season,” Hightower said.
A third freshman, Daequan Kim, also helped the team by winning the 100-meter dash as well as the 200 meter. Along with this trio of freshmen, junior John Clark was able to help the team. Clark won the discus and placed second in the hammer and fifth in the shot put. Clark was yet another athlete who was not satisfied with his showing.
“I’ve been a little disappointed in my performance as of late, but the big part of the season is coming up soon, so it’s finally time to step up,” he said. “I have confidence that it will all come together soon.”
Other top performers for the men’s team included senior Brandon Wolf, who won the shot put and placed fourth in the hammer, and freshman Greg Wesh, who won the 1,500 meter. This created a first-place finish for the men’s team and Clark has high hopes for the rest of the season.
“The big part of the season is coming up, and we’re only a few weeks off of conferences so these meets are good warm-ups for the big one,” Clark said. “I have a lot of confidence in us for when MAACs come.”
Both teams will try to keep their momentum rolling as they compete in the Larry Ellis Invitational this today and Saturday.
By Michael Mack