By Victoria Lyons
The Rider track and field team won several events while hosting the Rider Invitational this past Saturday. Competing against five other teams, the men finished first, while the women finished second on its home field.
“I thought that the team competed very well and even exceeded expectations in some areas,” said Head Coach Bob Hamer. “We were at the front of every race and made great efforts to win each event. We had some young athletes that really stepped up.”
For the Rider men, freshman Steve Brown won the long jump with a distance of 6.65 meters and the triple jump in 14.07 meters, while sophomore David Hightower finished first in the 110-meter hurdles, qualifying for IC4As in 14.63 and won the 200-meter in 22.65.
Sophomore Perry Asare came in first in the 100-meter, earning a time of 11.64. Freshman Wilvenson Baptiste won the 400-meter in 51.01 and sophomore Jorge Merino placed first in the shot put with a distance of 16.20 meters and discus in 49.05 meters.
“Jorge Merino had a great day setting the Rider record in the shot put and qualifying for IC4As in the shot put and discus,” Hamer said. “He has been working real hard and he is now seeing the results.”
Other achievements for the Rider men included sophomore Josh Frake winning the 5,000-meter with a time of 16:08.38, freshman Joseph Carlin finishing first in the 800-meter in 1:56.87 and freshman Christopher McGovern earning first place in the javelin with a distance of 57.76 meters.
As for the Rider women, sophomore Mia Riley placed first in the 100-meter in 12.26, while sophomore Erin McMullin won the 200-meter with a time of 25.68 and the 400-meter in 57.93.
“[Erin] is very competitive and it shows on race day. She is always in contention,” said Hamer.
Junior Heather Giovagnoli came in first in the 800-meter in 2:16.82 and sophomore Erin Fitzgibbons finished first in the steeplechase, earning a time of 12:03.42.
“I wasn’t ecstatic with my time, but winning gave me confidence and made me realize that I can improve my time in the steeple in the future and help the team,” Fitzgibbons said.
Also for the Rider women, junior Kristen Perrine placed first in the 1,500-meter with a time of 4:42.84, while sophomore Paige McAtee won the 5,000-meter with a time of 18:48.97.
“I was happy to win a race and help out the team,” said McAtee. “It was exciting because it was my first collegiate win and I was happy with my time.”
Next up, the track and field team is competing in the Hopkins/Loyola Invite in Baltimore on Saturday.
“I am very excited to compete this weekend against some teams that we do not always see on a regular basis,” Hamer said. “It will give the team an opportunity to further see how they compare against some different athletes and better gauge our chances for the MAAC Championships in a few weeks.”