Track cracks top 10 at Colonial Relays

Senior Sara Gardner was named Co-Rider Athlete of the Month for March.

By Stephen Neukam

The men’s and women’s track and field teams placed in the top 10 at the 53rd annual Colonial Relays on April 7. The men’s team finished fourth in the competition with a total of 54 points. The women’s team placed ninth, racking up 39 points.

“We had a very strong final day at the Colonial Relays,” said Head Coach Bob Hamer. “We had really good effort in our relays and placed in most of them.” 

The highlight of the competition, which took place at the College of William and Mary, was on the track, where the 4×1500 team of senior Anthony Ardino, senior Danniel Belay, sophomore Isaiah Jean-Baptiste and sophomore Tom Long finished with a new Rider-record time of 16:15.67, placing second in the event.

“We have people who come out with a personal best at almost every meet,” said sophomore Yohanny Rodriguez.

The Broncs also found success in the triple jump, where junior Michael Horn won the event with a leap of 14.36 meters. Junior Allen Killiebrew also registered a top-three finish in the event, placing third with a jump of 13.6 meters.

“Mike Horn has been a very consistent performer all year for the team, and he continued that today with the win,” said Hamer. “The conditions were not great, but he stepped up with a gritty performance. We need to learn how to compete in adverse conditions and situations. It definitely builds character, and we need that to win championships.”

The reigning MAAC Women’s Field Performer of the Week, Rodriguez, also had a strong showing in the triple jump. She finished third with a distance of 11.00 meters. Rodriguez was named MAAC Women’s Performer of the Week for the second consecutvie week after her performance. 

Her teammate, sophomore Asia Young, also had a top-five finish in the event, placing fifth with a distance of 10.85 meters.

The sprint-medley relay team of junior Alvin Abraham, junior Russell Malko, senior Brian Calderaro and freshman Tom Avolio put together a strong outing. The quartet came in third with a time of 3:32.50.

Rider’s 4×100 team of Young, senior Lexie Fraction, senior Naomi Clarke and sophomore Cheyenne Churchville came in fifth overall.

“The women were very consistent in their efforts today,” said Hamer. “We scored in many relays and field events, and that is a testament to their grittiness.” They took charge of what they could control and that was their effort and attitude, and that led to some solid performances today.”

Sophomore Adam Maid finished third in the shot put with an Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A)-qualifying toss of 15.77 meters. Malko and Belay also posted IC4A-qualifying marks, with Malko finishing seventh in the 400 with a time of 48.59 and Belay finishing 16th in the 1500 with a time of 3:52.98.

The Broncs are set for a pair of meets next weekend, traveling to Bucknell for the Bison Classic on April 13 and 14, while hosting the Rider Invite on April 14. 

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