By Melissa Kasiarz
The men’s and women’s track and field teams made their traditional trip to Boston University to compete in the Terrier Invitational over the weekend.
“I think both teams did very well,” head coach Bob Hamer said. “Our goal was to get some qualifiers for the ECAC/IC4A championships and achieve some personal best performances. We were very successful achieving those goals and we had a number of athletes perform very well.”
The women’s team stepped up to the plate and performed well as its distance medley qualified for the ECACs. Sophomore Erin McMullin, juniors Kristin Perrine and Heather Giovagnoli and senior Chelsea Callan finished fourth at the event, setting a new Rider record with a time of 12:04.23.
“Callan ran a tremendous race in the 3,000 and came back the next morning to lead off the distance medley to an ECAC qualifying mark,” said Hamer. “She has so much courage and desire and it shows in her races.”
The Rider men put together a solid showing with sophomore David Hightower placing third in the 60-meter. Although Hightower did well on this event, the 200-meter wasn’t his strong suit as he finished 16th with a qualifying time of 22:22.
Freshman Steven Brown was outstanding, capturing first place in both the triple jump and long jump.
“That is a fantastic achievement at a meet of this caliber,” said Hamer. “He won the triple jump on his last jump, which was very exciting.”
Senior Christian Gonzalez ran the mile and came in 12th, while the men’s relay team finished with a decent fourth place in a time of 2:34.47. The group consisted of freshman Wilvenson Baptiste, Hightower and sophomores James Burroughs and Daequan Kim.
“We go to this meet to get exposure to top level competition with the idea that it will prepare us for championship meets later in the season,” said Hamer.
Senior Brian Leggett stepped up to the challenge and tied for second in the pole vault.
“At the Terrier Invitational I had a good day,” Leggett said. “I did some of my best jumping to date. But as well as I jumped, I know that there is room for me to improve.”
The next competition for the track and field team is the New Balance Invitational on Feb. 4-5.
“Hopefully, each athlete will take some confidence from this meet and build on to it for the championship segment of our season,” said Hamer.