By Brandon Scalea
The Rider indoor track and field teams swept local rival TCNJ at Lawrence Prep, with the men winning 104-63 and the women winning 97-68, respectively.
The Rider men were victorious in 13 events, while the women won 12. Head Coach Bob Hamer felt that while TCNJ is not in the same NCAA level as Rider, it was key to win for the sake of rivalry.
“This win is important,” Hamer said. “TCNJ is a perennial Division III contender and we recruit heavily against them at times. Our athletes know their athletes well from high school. It becomes personal out there and leads to some great performances.”
Two freshmen shined for the women with sprinter Cleopatra Morrison winning the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.25 seconds, and hurdler Lexie Fraction setting a Rider record for her time of 8.10 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles.
For Fraction, now being a part of campus history is very rewarding.
“To now be a Rider record holder is so exciting; I’m still a little in shock,” she said. “What means even more to me is to now see all the hard work from the offseason paying off. All the work that Coach [Brett] Harvey has done with me has led to leaps and bounds in my running.”
For the men, sophomores Lamont Higgins, a sprinter, and Kyle Bryant, a jumper, stood out. Higgins won both the 55-meter with a time of 6.52 seconds, and the 400-meter in 50.21 seconds. Bryant won the long jump and triple jump, with 6.70 meters and 14.02 meters respectively.
Hamer feels Higgins has been a key contributor to the team in practically every meet.
“Lamont has been a standout performer for us on a regular basis, and it was good to see him get two wins and get some confidence going into the MAAC meet,” he said. “We need him to be a strong leader, and he showed some great leadership on Friday night.”
Bryant, who missed the preseason, had an exceptionally long journey to get to the level he has reached today.
“I had taken a semester off, so a lot of the work I had to do was get back in shape and get to where I was last year,” he said. “This win was a huge confidence boost for me and my team. Now we have to work to be competitive for the MAAC Championship.”
Also for the Broncs, senior thrower Andrew Pozo qualified for the IC4As in the weight throw with a winning distance of 56’10.75”. Sophomore hurdlers Wilfred Asamoah and Devon Jefferson, and freshman hurdler Christian Patrick, also qualified for the IC4As. Participating in the 55-meter hurdles, Asamoah won with a time of 7.53 seconds, while Jefferson and Patrick qualified with times of 7.59 and 7.63 seconds.
Senior distance runner Derek Lane won the mile with a time of 4:26.76, and sophomore Erik Adamcik won the pole vault with a distance of 4.65 meters. Patrick tied for first in the long jump with a distance of 1.95 meters.
For the women, freshman thrower Karoline Sandvig won the weight throw with a distance of 15.49 meters. Junior distance runner Stephanie Welte won the mile with a new personal best of 5:18.75, and senior distance runner Emily Ritter took the 800-meter with a time of 2:14.80. In the women’s long jump, junior Nicole Georgia won and set a new personal record with a distance of 5.30 meters. Pole vaulter, Miranda Roberts, a junior, won with a height of 3.20 meters. Another notable performance for the women came from junior distance runner Nicolette Mateescu, who won the 3000-meter with a time of 10:26.10.
The men and women will be back in action in a Feb. 14 meet at Monmouth.