Track and field look to impress in 2012

Junior James Burroughs is a key returner for the men’s team in the jumps and hurdles as Rider looks to defend its MAAC title. Burroughs won the 400-meter hurdles at last year’s MAACs.

By Victoria Lyons

The outdoor track and field season is drawing near as the team prepares for the Lafayette 7-Way on March 31.

According to Head Coach Bob Hamer, the meet at Lafayette will be indicative of the season regarding the Broncs’ competition and preparedness.

“The meet will feature some very strong teams and give us an indication of where we stand at the beginning of outdoors,” he said.

As for the men, they are on the competition’s radar, as they were the MAAC Champions last outdoor season.

A repeat is possible, but will have to involve determination and hard work, according to Hamer.

“I think the men have a chance to compete for the championships outdoors, but we need to stay healthy and compete very well at the meet,” Hamer said.

When it comes to the women, the focus is on improving from their indoor season performance and finishing in the top three.

“We had a few injuries during indoors that hurt us, so we need to stay healthy and we can achieve our goals,” Hamer said.

For those who excelled in indoor, they will most likely have a smooth transition, leading to a successful outdoor season, according to Hamer.

Juniors David Hightower and James Burroughs had strong performances in the hurdles, while sophomore Steven Brown also had a successful indoor season, according to Hamer.

Also on the men’s side, junior Dave Brown, a standout in the 400-meter hurdles, and freshman George Solujich are looking to have an outdoor season similar to their indoor. Senior Mike Soroko will also be a key athlete.

“Soroko was injured toward the end of indoor, but we are hoping to have him healthy and ready by MAACs,” Hamer said.

On the women’s side, juniors Mia Riley and Megan Elgin, sophomore Lauryn Strebeck and senior Heather Giovagnoli each had a strong
indoor season.

“Riley has been a very consistent performer for us and she is very hungry after getting beat at the indoor MAAC Championships,” Hamer said. “Giovagnoli and Elgin had breakout seasons during the indoor season and they are looking good for outdoor.”

The Broncs are hoping to develop a team that is able to compete for the MAAC, and qualify for IC4As and NCAA Regionals individually.

Competition will also be a factor in the outdoor season, particularly at the MAAC Championships.

“Manhattan and St. Peter’s will be tough as always, and we are trying to match their talent, preparation and meet day execution,” Hamer said.

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