By Steve Sica
For the first time in program history both the men’s and women’s track and field teams came home as MAAC champions.
On May 4-5 the Broncs competed in the MAAC track and field championship and were able to take home the two top prizes.
“We were finally hungry enough for a title on both the men’s and women’s side and had the confidence that it could actually be done this year,” senior jumper Lauryn Strebeck said. “Anything but first was not an option.”
This marks the second time in the last three years the men have come away as outdoor MAAC champions, while the women won for the first time since 2007.
The championship season wasn’t just about what happened during that weekend, but a culmination of what was a successful overall season, according to Head Coach Bob Hamer.
“The biggest key to our success was our ability to stay healthy and improve each week,” Hamer said. “We competed at the championship meet with all of our big performers.”
Two of those “big performers” were sophomore Dashana Ransome who won the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.09 seconds, and David Hightower, ’13, who ran the 110-meter hurdles in 14.24 seconds. But nobody had as big an impact as senior sprinter Wilvenson Baptiste who won the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and helped the 4×100-meter relay team finish first.
Other awards for the Broncs included Hamer being named MAAC Coach of the Year and Baptiste winning Most Outstanding Performer.
Hamer believes that his team was propelled by the high level of competition at the meet.
“The team had a lot of confidence and saw the meet as an opportunity to compete at a very high level rather than worrying about failing,” he said.