By Victoria Lyons
The track and field season is quickly approaching with the team competing in the Princeton New Year Invite on Saturday, Dec. 10.
According to Head Coach Bob Hamer, there are high expectations going into this season after the men’s team captured the MAAC Outdoor Championships.
“We are definitely working toward winning an indoor championship,” he said. “We preach to the team all the time about how we need to train and compete at a championship level and hopefully on that given day we will be able to be in a position to win.”
A few athletes graduated last year from the men’s and women’s squads, each playing a significant role, but the majority of the big point scorers return for the men, with the core of the women coming back as well, according to Hamer.
“We had many individual champions on the men’s side and we will be looking to them to, again, compete at a very high level so that we can compete for a championship,” he said. “We have some women that really stepped up last year and we are looking for that progress to continue.”
After three months of training, the Broncs are prepared to take on their competition at the Princeton New Year Invite.
Some of the men who proved their strengths at last year’s Princeton New Year Invite are juniors David Hightower, James Burroughs, Daequan Kim, Greg Wesh, Perry Asare, Jorge Merino and Richard Verrall, as well as sophomore Steven Brown.
As for the women, juniors Erin McMullin, Mia Riley and Ashley Hunter, and sophomores Rhea Phipps and Treasure Burke had strong performances.
“There will be some real good athletes at this meet and we are excited to see how we stack up against the competition,” Hamer said.
The previous outdoor season was an exciting time for the Broncs as the men took home first place at the MAAC Championships.
The women’s squad will look to improve upon its previous season, ultimately looking to make a splash in the MAAC tournament this year.
“Individually, we would like to continue to see the athletes develop and compete at their potential,” Hamer said.
When it comes to competition, St. Peter’s and Manhattan are the teams to keep an eye on. The Peacocks won their first women’s championship last year, and Manhattan is the consistent favorite.
“We would like to think that we can compete on their level and that is what we are working towards every day,” Hamer said.
Following the Princeton New Year Invite, Rider competes at the Penn State Relays on Saturday, Jan. 7.
“There’s always surprises with each year but it is too early to determine right now,” Hamer said. “I am very excited about our freshman class and the development of the young athletes on our team.”