By Thomas Albano
The Broncs competed in the 49th Colonial Relays from April 4-6 at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. At the three-day event, the men finished eighth out of 41 schools, while the women finished tenth out of 39 schools.
The track and field athletes competed in two separate groups, the championship division and the university division.
Head Coach Bob Hamer was impressed with his team despite neither the men nor the women finishing in the top three as they did at the past two events.
“We had a solid weekend,” Hamer said. “The field event athletes did a real nice job and placed very high in their events. We had some really good relay performances on the second day.”
Standout performances from the men included junior thrower George Solujich, who placed third in the championship division’s shot put with a throw of 52’7.25”; sophomore hurdler Darien Edwards, who finished third in the university division 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.88; junior thrower Andrew Pozo, who won the university division discus event throwing 140’; and freshman jumper Kyle Bryant, who earned a fourth-place finish in the championship division’s high jump with a distance of 6’6.25”, and a second-place finish in the championship division’s triple jump with a distance of 46’11.5”.
Another key performance for the men’s team came from the 4 x 400 relay team, which consisted of Edwards, freshman sprinter Lamont Higgins, senior sprinter Wilvenson Baptiste and senior mid-distance runner Joseph Carlin. The team finished the university division event in 3:15.78, qualifying it for the IC4A’s.
Key performances on the women’s team came from senior thrower Rhea Phipps, who won the championship division hammer throw with a toss of 165’3”; sophomore distance runner Nicolette Mateescu, who finished second in the university division’s 5000-meter run with a time of 17:53.34, beating her previous fastest time by 40 seconds; and senior Lauryn Strebeck, who finished second in the championship division triple jump with a distance of 39’0.25”, a personal best for her.
Despite her record in the championship division triple jump, Strebeck admitted she was pretty disappointed that after coming close, she was not able to get both the personal best and the first-place finish.
“As happy I should be for myself for getting a personal best, after I competed I was pretty down on myself,” Strebeck said. “I was in first the whole time until the last jump where a girl passed me. Getting first at the Colonial Relays would have been a great accomplishment, but I still can’t forget to be proud of myself for jumping well.”
The next event for track and field will take place on April 12 at Rider’s track and field complex in the Rider Invite, the same location that will host the MAAC Championship in May.
The team hopes that the “home-field advantage” combined with some hopefully nice weather will provide what the team needs for a good showing at the event.
“It’s unfortunate we’ve caught some bad weather, like two weeks ago when we competed at Lafayette College in the cold, wind and rain,” Strebeck said. “Obviously our results aren’t going to be as good as they would be in the sun, but you make the most out of it and just compete. Your attitude about the race, jump or throw can play a big factor.”