By Victoria Lyons
The Rider track and field team competes at the Lafayette 7-Way tomorrow in Easton, P.A.
The team is gearing up for a win after the men were edged out by East Stroudsburg. The men placed second overall while the women fell to St. Joseph’s and Lafayette, finishing third during last year’s meet.
“This will allow a competitive situation for our athletes to begin the outdoor season [and] give them a chance to succeed and see how we have progressed since indoor,” Head Coach Bob Hamer said.
Juniors David Hightower, Dave Brown and James Burroughs will all be looking to continue to impress on their early season success as they transition to the outdoor competition.
Other Rider men who had strong performances during the indoor season are sophomore Steven Brown, competing in the long jump, and freshman George Solujich, who will throw both the shot put and discus.
For the women, junior Mia Riley will race the 100-meter while sophomore Lauryn Strebeck will compete in the 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump. Junior Megan Elgin will race in the 800-meter and the 1500-meter.
“The 1500 and the 800 are shorter events for me so they are a little bit more of a challenge because I’m not speed oriented,” Elgin said. “I’d like to see where I am in those events.”
There are a few athletes who are eligible to reach IC4A qualifying marks. However, this is not a concern for the team right now, according to Hamer.
“The main objective is to get out there and compete and those accolades will come during that process,” Hamer said. “We really try to get the athletes to focus on the process of competing and not to worry about marks. If they are able to do that, usually the big personal records and qualifying performances will come from those efforts.”
Both the men and the women will have a chance to win because they have a complete team, according to Hamer.
“The expectation is for us to finish high in many events,” he said. “It will be a challenge and the message to the team is that we would like to see where we are from a team perspective right now.”
When it comes to the competition, Monmouth and Lehigh will be the teams to look out for. However, Lafayette, St. Joseph’s, East Stroudsburg and Muhlenberg are also skilled.
“It will be a very good early season meet,” Hamer said.