By Josh Veltrie
The first invitational for Rider’s track and field team this spring was an exciting one as they won four individual events and set two individual Rider records.
As a team, the women placed third out of eight while the men were seventh out of eight in the Lafayette 8-Way Invitational, hosted by Moravian College.
The underclassmen set the bar high for the rest of the season as freshman Kristen Perrine set the school record for the 1500-meter (4:46.23) and sophomore Chelsea Callan set the Rider record in the Steeplechase (11:27.67).
“We have a very talented, young group of kids that really helps build us as a team through their competitive nature,” said Head Coach Bob Hamer.
Senior Kelly Kajunski won the high jump with a height of 5’7”, qualifying her for the ECAC Championships.
“It was big for Kelly to establish herself early in the season, she had been struggling a little bit lately,” Hamer said. “Qualifying for the ECAC Championships this early is a huge confidence booster for her.”
Kajunski was named MAAC Female Co-Performer of this past week in honor of her performance Saturday.
Juniors Alicia Price and Lauren Lester also came in first in their events with Price winning the shot put (40’10.5”) and Lester leading the way in the 800-meter (2:20.20). Senior Tabatha Haskins also placed first for an event, winning the triple jump (36’11”).
“With the spring season being very short, it was extremely important that we came out of the gate strong and competitive,” Hamer said. “I was very happy with the leadership certain people showed during the Invitational.”
For the men, sophomore John Clark was consistent, coming in third in the discus and hammer throw and placing fourth in the shot put. Senior Marcellus Manning came in fourth in the 110-meter hurdles and sophomore Mike Soroko placed third in the 1500-meter.
“We didn’t have any winners on the men’s side but John Clark and [junior] Brandon Wolf gave us some solid efforts in the throws (disc, hammer and shot),” Hamer said to Rider Sports Information. “They are building off a big indoor season and continued that effort today.”
The team now gets ready to compete in the Duke Invitational on April 3-4 in Durham, N.C.
“It’s very big that we get exposed to the top level of competition,” Hamer. “We need to be battle tested so when we face the big schools we don’t worry about them, we just worry about ourselves.”