Track and field start outdoor season on high note

By Victoria Lyons

Sophomore David Hightower finished first in the 110-meter hurdles with an IC4A qualifying time of 14.2 seconds.

The Rider track and field team got off to a strong start this spring season at the 16th annual Monmouth Season Opener last Friday and Saturday.

There were many solid performances despite bad weather, according to Head Coach Bob Hamer.

“I thought that we were very competitive in many areas, specifically the track events,” said Hamer. “The weather was less than ideal but we talked ahead of time about just going out and competing and not worrying about the marks. We were very successful in this approach.”

Senior Michael Soroko won the 1,500-meter, earning a time of 3:59.66, while sophomore David Hightower finished first in the 110-meter hurdles with an IC4A qualifying time of 14.2.

“I was very happy for Dave to hit this mark early in the season. He is picking up right where he left off during the indoor season,” Hamer said. “He raced the 400 hurdles and the 4×100 meter relay prior to that race, so it should give him great confidence that he was able to qualify after racing several times prior to the 110 hurdles.”

Other achievements for the Rider men consisted of freshman Steve Brown placing second in the triple jump with a distance of 13.71 meters and third in the long jump at 6.49 meters.

Sophomore James Burroughs finished second in the 110-meter hurdles in 15.00, while sophomore Jorge Merino earned a distance of 15.09 meters, finishing third in the shot put as well as the discus with a distance of 43.93 meters.

The 4×200 relay team of freshmen Wilvenson Baptiste, Dave Brown, Joseph Carlin and junior Ron Moore came in third with a time of 3:25.17.

For the Rider women, sophomore Mia Riley won the 100-meter dash, finishing with a time of 12.36.

Freshman Lauryn Strebeck placed second in the long jump with a distance of 4.8 meters, while junior Kristen Perrine finished second in the 1500-meter, earning a time of 4:45.22.

Additionally, the 4×100 relay consisting of seniors Shaylah Counts, Jillian Rubbico and sophomores Erin McMullin and Riley placed second in 48.64, while McMullin earned second place in the 200-meter with a time of 25.61.

The Rider track and field team is currently competing in Williamsburg, Va. at the Colonial Relays, which began Thursday and continues through Saturday.

“We are excited to get some warmer weather and to have a great opportunity to compete in a highly competitive meet,” said Hamer.

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