Rider at MAAC Championships Tonight
Courtesy: Rider Sports Information  
Release:  02/18/2014

Wilvenson Baptiste
Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
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College Track & Field

Broncs at MAACs Friday

NEW YORK, NY—The Rider University indoor track & field teams will compete for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Friday at the New Balance Armory.

The meet begins at 3:45 pm with the women’s weight throw. The running events begin at 4pm with the women’s 5,000.

The Rider men and women both placed runner-up last year, the men to perennial MAAC Champion Manhattan, while the Saint Peter’s women won the MAAC Title last winter.

“We are excited to compete in the MAAC meet on Friday,” said Rider head coach Bob Hamer, who was named the MAAC Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year last spring.  “The meet will be very different this year with the addition of Monmouth, Quinnipiac, and Canisius.”

The Rider men will be led by senior Wilvenson Baptiste (Irvington, N.J. /Irvington), freshman Lamont Higgins (New Brunswick, N.J. /St. Joseph), junior George Solujich (East Windsor, N.J. /Notre Dame) and junior Anthony DeFranco (Berkeley Heights, N.J. /Governor Livingston).

The Rider women will be led by senior Lauryn Strebeck (Dayton, N.J. /South Brunswick), senior Rhea Phipps (Basking Ridge, N.J. /Ridge), sophomore La'tazah Coleman (Middletown, Del. /Appoquinimink) and sophomore Dashana Ransome (Irvington, N.J. /Irvington).

Baptiste is the defending MAAC Champion in the indoor 200m and went on to earn Most Outstanding Performer honors at the MAAC Outdoor Championships last spring.

Higgins will be competing in his first MAAC Championship. He recently won both the 400m and the 60m at the Monmouth Winter Meet, and has qualified for the IC4As in both the 400m and the 200m.

Solujich is the defending champion in the MAAC Indoor and Outdoor shot put and holds the Rider Indoor record.

DeFranco recently broke the Rider Indoor record in the pole vault with a vault of 15’7” and has also won MAAC gold in the 4 x 100 relay.

Strebeck won a silver medal in the triple jump at the MAAC Championships last winter and won a gold medal in the MAAC triple jump in the spring.

Phipps is an ECAC qualifier and owns a MAAC Indoor bronze medal in the weight throw and owns both a MAAC Outdoor silver medal and a MAAC Outdoor bronze medal in the hammer.

Coleman set Rider Indoor records last year in the 55m, 60m and 200m and Rider outdoor records in the 100m and 200m, winning three MAAC Indoor silver medals (4x400 relay, 60m, 200m) and a bronze (high jump) and a pair of MAAC Outdoor gold medals (100m, 200m) and a silver (high jump).

Ransome set Rider Indoor records in the 55m hurdles, the 60m hurdles and the 4x200 relay and Rider Outdoor records in the 100m hurdles and long jump. She owns a MAAC Indoor bronze (60m hurdles) and a MAAC Outdoor gold (100m hurdles) and bronze (long jump).

“We are doing our best to make sure that the teams are adequately prepared, rested, and ready to compete for championships on Friday,” Hamer said.


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