By Victoria Lyons
Following the track and field team’s trip to William & Mary for the Colonial Relays, the Broncs will host the Rider Invitational on Saturday.
According to Head Coach Bob Hamer, both the men’s and women’s team will need to show their best skills at the meet.
“Sacred Heart and Monmouth will be very tough because they have full and complete teams that compete hard every time,” he said.
The men took first place in the 2011 Rider Invitational.
“The men will be focused on trying to win and take another step toward making a run at the MAAC Title,” Hamer said.
When it comes to the Rider women, they are working to improve on their second place finish from the previous year.
As for the Colonial Relays, the men placed ninth out of 27 teams while the women finished 17th of 27.
The first day consisted of new Rider records and IC4A qualifiers.
“The teams competed very well,” Hamer said. “We were focusing on having a great effort and the good results will happen. That is exactly what we were able to achieve in many areas.”
For the Rider women, junior Nicole Tassello won the 10,000-meter, and set a Rider record, while qualifying for the IC4As.
“I couldn’t believe it actually happened,” Tassello said. “I still feel like I’m dreaming, but I guess all of my hard work has finally paid off.”
Tassello led for 25 laps and was by herself for 23 of them, according to Hamer.
“She is someone who has worked really hard to prepare for this moment and she took advantage of it,” he said.
Senior Heather Giovagnoli broke a Rider record by almost nine seconds in the 1,500-meter, which was a long time coming, Hamer said.
“She is full of confidence right now and it showed in her performance,” Hamer said. “I was really excited for her because she has prepared for this moment and she was able to be in the perfect race for her.”
Also for the women, junior Megan Elgin set a Rider record in the 5,000-meter.
“Elgin learned from some of the mistakes she made earlier in January when she ran the 5,000-meter,” Hamer said. “She was able to finish much stronger and is on the right path this season.”
For the men, junior Sean Donohue placed fourth in the 10,000-meter with freshman Anthony Dentino right behind in fifth. Both qualified for IC4As.
Other IC4A qualifiers on the men’s side were juniors James Burroughs and David Hightower in the 110-meter hurdles.
Now, the Broncs get a chance to perform on their home turf.
“We are looking to continue to improve on some areas and compete with a lot of effort and be competitive for the team title,” Hamer said.