By Rocco Schirripa
The Rider track and field team competed last weekend at the Larry Ellis Invitational in Princeton.
“Everyone stepped up and really had great performances over the weekend,” senior Matt Dahl said. “And it’s good because I think most looked at that meet as one of the more important ones on the schedule.”
The Broncs went into day one with high expectations and were not disappointed.
“It seemed like we were getting great performance after great performance,” Dahl said.
Sophomore Mike Soroko placed 14th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, clocking in at a personal best, 9:23.15. Dahl clocked in at 14:39 in the 5,000-meter.
“I was pretty happy with my effort in the 5k,” Dahl said. “Hamer and I figured if I could run around 14:42 then it’d be a solid race, but I was fortunate enough to be in the right race and got to go a few seconds faster than that.”
Sophomore Christian Gonzalez placed 52nd in the 1,500, with a time of 3:57.53, and senior Kelly Wojciehowski placed 26th in the 5,000 with a time of 18:10.70, almost breaking the Rider record of 18:10.29.
The Broncs went out on day two trying to outdo their performances of the previous day.
That did not take very long as senior Kelly Kajunski qualified for the NCAA regional by winning the high jump with a distance of 5’8.75”. This is the third time Kajunski has made the NCAA regional with Rider, and she also placed 11th in triple jump.
“Kelly Kajunski was in the zone on Saturday,” Hamer said. “Every time they put the bar up she cleared the height and that is why she won the event. She is a great competitor and her persistence and hard work is starting to come together at the right time.”
Sophomore John Clark placed fifth in discus with a distance of 48.24 meters and sophomore Christian Gonzalez placed sixth in the 800 with a time of 1:54.02.
Senior Marcellus Manning qualified for the IC4As by running 14.81 in the 110m hurdles and an eighth-place finish. Manning finished 11th in the 400-meter hurdles as well.
“Marcellus has done an outstanding job this year and all of his training is starting to come together at the right time,” Hamer said. “He is being more patient in his races and he is finally running the times that he feels he is capable of running.”
Senior Megan Crowe clocked in at 10:40.02 in the 3,000-meter. Junior Alicia Price placed fourth in hammer with a distance of 50.30 meters, which qualified for ECAC, and also placed 12th in discus.
“Alicia Price has done a great job in all of the throws for us this year and it was just a matter of time before she would get the ECAC qualifier in the hammer,” Hamer said.
Freshman Kristen Perrine finished fifth in the 800 with a time of 2:18.43, and freshman Heather Giovagnoli finished right after Perrine with a sixth place with a time of 2:18.78.
Junior Dominique Carnevale finished sixth in the 3,000 with a time of 11:29.24, and freshman Amanda Quinones finished right behind her at seventh place with a time of 11:33.08.
This is the second weekend in a row the Broncs got to compete at home, after hosting the Rider Invitational last weekend.
Next weekend the Broncs will have representatives to compete in the Penn Relays, while the rest of the team will be headed to the TCNJ Invitational, in the final few weeks of the season.
“We expect to see some more school records and post-season qualifiers to come from this weekend,” Hamer said. “We have been challenging the team on a regular basis in practice, and they have continually responded, and we are real excited about the level of performance we think that we can attain over the next few weeks.”