By Victoria Lyons
The Rider track and field team competed in the Terrier Invitational at Boston University this past weekend, where both the men and the women had strong performances.
According to Head Coach Bob Hamer, the team exceeded expectations in a lot of ways, but is also aware of its capabilities.
“We know that we have a team that has trained hard and is ready to compete at a high level on a consistent basis,” Hamer said. “They just need to gain some more confidence and hopefully this weekend helped.”
For the Rider men, sophomore Steven Brown placed second in the triple jump with a distance of 14.85 meters, qualifying him for IC4As, while junior Dave Brown was fifth in the 500-meter, earning an IC4A qualifying time of 1:04.15.
Freshman George Solujich had an IC4A qualifying distance of 15.84 meters in the shot put, placing sixth. Junior Greg Wesh was another IC4A qualifier, finishing seventh in the 800-meter in 1:52.71.
Other men who qualified for IC4As were sophomore Joseph Carlin, who placed 17th in the 800-meter with a time of 1:54.83, freshman Nasser Zayer in the mile, coming in 22nd in 4:14.25, and the 4×400 relay of sophomore Wilvenson Baptiste, freshman Michael Breen, Wesh and Brown which earned a time of 3:18.59 and eighth place.
“One of our goals coming into the meet was to get many IC4A qualifiers and the men did a great job,” Hamer said. “We still have some who are capable of achieving those marks in the upcoming meets.”
The men were not the only ones who showed their skills this past weekend, with junior Mia Riley, senior Heather Giovagnoli and junior Meg Elgin breaking Rider records.
Riley finished the 200-meter in a time of 25.26, finishing seventh of 150.
“Mia is just competing on a different level this year, and we have recently talked about taking it to another level and she rose to the occasion,” Hamer said.
Giovagnoli earned a time of 5:00.07, placing 18th of 115 in the mile.
“Heather is having a great year after struggling with injuries that have hampered her progress in previous years,” Hamer said. “Her confidence is very high right now and that has been the key to her success.”
Elgin placed 24th out of 83 in the 3,000-meter with a time of 9:58.56, which also qualified her for IC4As.
“Meg has been on fire this year and it is great to see,” Hamer said.
Also for the Rider women, sophomore Lauryn Strebeck finished 15th of 38 in the long jump with an IC4A qualifying distance of 15’11.5”, while sophomore Rhea Phipps placed 23rd in the shot put, qualifying for IC4As with a distance of 36’10.25”.
The women’s distance medley relay of junior Ashley Hunter, senior Kristen Perrine, Giovagnoli and Elgin earned an IC4A qualifying time of 11:58.35, placing third.
One of the highlights at the Terrier Invitational was Rider graduate Christian Gonzalez, who finished the mile in 3:59.98. Gonzalez currently runs for the New Jersey, New York Track Club, and is only one of four runners to break the four-minute mile mark.
“It was a great experience to be there at the meet and to witness something as monumental as a sub 4:00 mile,” said Hamer.
Next up for the Broncs is the New Balance Invitational, which takes place today, where only the men’s distance medley relay will compete.
The Broncs also have the TCNJ Dual meet on Saturday.
“This meet will be our main competition this weekend where we will compete against a local rival in a highly contested exciting environment,” Hamer said.