Track on mission to defend MAAC titles
By Carlos Toro
The track and field team finished its final meets before the MAAC Championships by splitting the squad between the Lions Invitational at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) on April 26 and the Penn Relays in Philadelphia from April 24-26.
The MAAC Championships are on May 3 and 4 at Rider and the Broncs are looking to repeat the first-place success of last season.
Senior jumper Lauryn Strebeck wasted little time displaying her preparation for the MAAC Championships at the Lions Invitational, clearing 40 feet in the triple jump at the Lions Invitational. She became the first Bronc to ever achieve that feat, with an ECAC-qualifying distance of 12.23 meters and a second-place finish.
“Jumping that distance this weekend reassured me that I am capable of something I never thought could happen,” said Strebeck. “It showed me that I can do it.”
Head Coach Bob Hamer knew that she was capable of clearing 40 feet.
“It was just a matter of time when everything clicked perfectly for her,” said Hamer. “We talk a lot about practicing and competing with good habits and you will be rewarded at some point. She was rewarded on Saturday.”
Sophomore thrower Charles Wilks also had a career day at the Lions Invitational. He placed second in the shot put with a personal best of 15.13 meters.
“I had a great day at TCNJ,” Wilks said. “I went in looking for a momentum booster that will help me prepare for next week and came out with a lifetime best.”
Other Rider results at the Lions Invitational include junior pole vaulter Anthony DeFranco and freshman pole vaulter Erik Adamcik. Both finished second with heights of 4.65 meters. Freshman hurdler Wil Asamoah placed fifth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.16 seconds. Senior jumper Greg Smith finished sixth in the long jump with a distance of 6.44 meters, and sophomore jumper Olivia Rosenberger placed fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 11.20 meters.
For the Penn Relays, sophomore jumper Dashana Ransome finished in fifth place in the Eastern long jump with a distance of 18’11.75”.
The 4×100 relay team of Ransome with sophomore sprinters Miranda Roberts, Alicia Osley and La’tazah Coleman finished in eighth place in its heat and 50th out of 105 teams with a season-best time of 47.98 seconds.
The 4×800 relay team of freshman distance runner Megan McGarrity, junior distance runner Emily Ritter, sophomore sprinter Madeline Hummel and graduate distance runner Megan Elgin placed 13th with an ECAC-qualifying time of 9:10.54.
The last time Rider had an event take place on its own home track complex was on April 12 at the Rider Invitational. At that event, both the men and women took first out of 17 and 19 teams, respectively.
According to Hamer, the team needs to get “in the right frame of mind.”
“We have the talent and ability to be competitive, but the question is, do we have the confidence and belief in ourselves to fulfill our potential and meet the standards that will be set by the competition?” said Hamer.