By Dylan Manfre
A home dual meet gave every athlete on the track and field team the opportunity to compete as Rider and Route 206-rival TCNJ battled on Feb. 1.
Both Rider teams claimed victory over its neighboring foes. The men’s final score was, 113-42, while the women’s team recorded a 20-point win over the Lions, 89-69.
With the meet’s location minutes away from campus, Head Coach Bob Hamer mentioned the element of comfort was on their side.
“One of the exciting things is that it’s a team-scored meet and it’s close to campus so we get a lot of excitement and thrill from competing close to home,” Hamer said. “We compete in the facility we practice in on a regular basis so I think it really helps us a lot in the special events and gives us a lot of confidence.”
Hamer mentioned the facility, trackwise, becomes more tactical as opposed to the field events. He said anything was possible and the runners, throwers and jumpers had potential to breakout.
“I think the field events are really an opportunity for them, the long, triple and high jump, as well as the throws with the shot and weight. I think there is a really great chance for those athletes to get to those standards,” Hamer said.
Hamer’s prediction would come to fruition as junior jumper Yohanny Rodriguez won the women’s triple jump soaring 11.46 meters. Junior jumper Lindsay Bauer won the women’s long jump and leaped 5.11 meters.
The men’s team also found success in the jumping and throwing events, like Hamer predicted.
Freshman jumper Ayo Oyewole secured an Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America qualifying distance of 7.16 meters in the long jump and won the triple jump with a 14.29 meters score. Oyewole was named MAAC Men’s Field Performer of the Week following his performance against TCNJ.
On the track, both Rider teams saw new personal bests and a new program record was set.
Graduate student Sara Gardner had herself another superb outing both on and off the track. Gardner set a new Rider record in the 55-meter hurdles and finished with a time of 7.91. On top of her already impressive night, Gardner took second in the 55-meter dash and won the high jump at 1.65 meters.
Dual meets feature all track and field events, whereas other meets, such as invitationals, may only feature a few events.
Freshman jumper Soham Kolli won the high jump at 1.90 meters — that’s 0.23 feet taller than Kolli, who stands at 6-foot.
Kevin Heredia took first in the mile in 4:22.70.
“This meet gives them an opportunity to really break through and shine and show what they are capable of,” Hamer said. “A lot of times, it takes just one event, one meet, to break out and feel accomplished and ready to take on the world.”
The Broncs return to the oval on Feb. 8 for the Monmouth College Invite held in West Long Branch and the Fastrack National Qualifier at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, New York.