Broncs Jolt Through Jadwin
PRINCETON, NJ - The Rider University indoor track & field team took the quick trip to Princeton University for the Princeton New Year's Invite, with Monmouth University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Rutgers University, and The College of New Jersey also competing on Sunday afternoon. "We had another very strong meet today in many areas. We picked up some big wins, many ECAC/IC4A qualifiers, and also a new Rider record," said head coach Bob Hamer.
Junior Sara Gardner (Holland Township, NJ/Delaware Valley) won the 60m Hurdles event in a Rider-record 8.62 seconds, beating Dashana Ransome's record of 8.68 set in 2012.
"Sara is a big time performer and we are very excited that she is having the opportunity to showcase her abilities this year. This performance showed that she has the chance to have a really great season," Hamer added.
Senior Daria Chadwick (Summit, NJ/Summit) finished fourth (8.85) and also qualified for ECACs.
For the men, sophomore Nate Bowie (Matawan, NJ/Matawan) won it in an IC4A-qualifying time of 8.18 seconds. Hamer said of his newest IC4A qualifier, "I was very pleased to see Nate pick up the win in the 60 hurdles. He had an injury-plagued year last season and he set a personal best, won the event, and qualified for IC4As today. It shows that he is back in fine form and ready to be a force in the MAAC."
Also for the men, senior Johnathan Jackson (Roselle, NJ/Magnet) claimed the 1000m (2:28.64). On Jackson's victory, Hamer stated that "it was great to see him pick up exactly where he left off from last year. He accumulated a lot of accolades last year, but he is still hungry to achieve some big goals this year."
In the field events, redshirt freshman Ronetta Hunter (Burlington, NJ/Burlington Township) claimed the shot put for the Rider women with a throw spanning 13.63 meters. On Hunter's showing, Hamer responded that "Ronetta had a rough day today, but she won the event on her last throw, an ECAC performance. It shows me a lot when the athletes struggle and have a bit of adversity, but still figure out a way to win. It shows grit and determination and we need that if we are going to win championships."
Also qualifying for ECACs for the women was fellow sophomore Natalie Cowan (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton), who won the high jump for the second straight meet (1.70 meters). "Natalie also showed some grit after missing her two initial attempts, but then bounced back to win the event and qualify again for ECACs. She is definitely competing at a very high level right now," Hamer commented.
Returning to women's track, three events were purely dominated by the Broncs: the 200m, 400m, and 800m.
The 200m saw freshman Cheyenne Churchville (Collegeville, PA/Perkiomen Valley) take second (26.75), sophomore Morgyn Bennett (Wilmington, DE/Delcastle Tech) claim fourth (27.42), and freshman Moriah Hall (Pennsauken, NJ/Camden Catholic) stake fifth (27.52).
In the 400m, Chadwick finished second (1:00.40), freshman Asia Young (Pleasantville, NJ/Holy Spirit) took third (1:01.71), Hall was fourth (1:01.94), and sophomore Jennifer Maurer (Trappe, PA/Perkiomen Valley) claimed sixth (1:02.67).
In the 800m, freshman Nicole Berry (Berlin, NJ/Winslow Township) staked second (2:20.37), junior Victoria Brewer (Bensalem, PA/Bensalem) took third (2:21.47), senior Juliann Brand (Egg Harbor, NJ/Egg Harbor Township) was fourth (2:22.76), freshman Katie Ward (Old Bridge, NJ/Mother Seton) finished sixth (2:29.55), and sophomore Angela Cotugno (Parlin, NJ/Sayreville) took seventh (2:35.71).
"We had a nice start to our indoor season and now we need to focus on some training and our academics as we approach finals week. The key for us will be to maintain our fitness over the winter break and build on these successes when we return to competition in January. The most important segment is still to come," said Hamer.
Speaking of that next segment, Rider will be off for the next four weeks before traveling to the aforementioned Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ for the Rutgers Invite on Friday, January 6 and Saturday, January 7.