College Outdoor Track and Field
Rider opens at VCU Invite
Men 1st / Women 3rd
RICHMOND, Va.—The Rider University men’s and women’s track and field teams opened the 2014 outdoor season on Saturday at the Virginia Commonwealth University Invite with the men winning the team title and the women placing third.
“It was a good opening meet,” said head coach Bob Hamer. “We had limited opportunities to practice outside due to the weather but wanted to come down to this meet because it gave us a strong start to our season last year.”
Both the Rider men’s and women’s teams are the defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champions from the 2013 spring season.
For the Rider men, junior George Solujich (East Windsor/Notre Dame) won the shot put (52’2”), junior Anthony Dentino (Sewell/Washington Township) won the 5000m (15:25.06) and junior Dylan Hallahan (Wrightstown/Northern Burlington Regional) won the 3000m steeplechase in a meet record time of 9:36.32.
For the Rider women, senior Lauryn Strebeck (Dayton/South Brunswick) won the triple jump (37’7.75”), sophomore Nicolette Mateescu (Kendall Park/South Brunswick) won the 5000m (18:33.66) and graduate student Megan Elgin (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East) won the 1500m (4:44.82).
Also for the Bronc men, junior Anthony DeFranco (Berkeley Heights/Governor Livingston) was second in the pole vault (15’3”), junior Evan Cornell (Toms River/Toms River HS East) was third in the 5000m (15:52.12), senior Joseph Carlin (Staten Island, N.Y./Staten Island Tech.) was third in the 800m (1:56.02), sophomore Darien Edwards (South Orange/St. Benedict's) was third in the 400m hurdles with an IC4A qualifying time of 53.53 and freshman Brad Kaufmann (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) was third in the 3000m steeplechase (9:59.93).
“We had some decent performances today with the highlight Darien’s IC4A qualifier,” Hamer said. “He has had a strong year but this was a breakout performance for him. We also had some nice wins in the distance with Mateescu and Dentino in the 5k, Elgin in the 1500 and Hallahan in the steeplechase.”
Also for the Bronc women, senior Rhea Phipps (Basking Ridge/Ridge) was second in the hammer throw (163’10”), sophomore Miranda Roberts (Sewell/Washington Twp.) was second in the pole vault (10’10”), sophomore Dashana Ransome (Irvington) was second in the long jump (18’1.50”), junior Josephine Boyle (Pleasant Valley, N.Y./Arlington) was third in the 5000m (19:16.49) and junior Emily Ritter (Millsboro, Del./Sussex Tech) was third in the 800m (2:18.36).
“We had some strong performances in the sprint events,” Hamer said. “This was definitely a sprint heavy meet.”
The women’s 4x800 meter relay of Elgin, freshman Kayla Lubonski (Edison), freshman Megan McGarrity (Philadelphia, Pa./Saint Basil Academy) and senior Gabrielle Randell (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) won with a time of 9:47.58.
The men’s 4x800 relay of sophomore Sam Knipper (Randolph), junior Derek Lake (Middletown, N.Y./Pine Bush), senior Matt Sampson (Manasquan) and junior Nasser Zayer (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) was second with a time of 8:11.22.
Rider competes at the Lafayette Invitational March 29.
“We are looking forward to the scoring meet next week at Lafayette,” Hamer added. “That will give us the opportunity to fine tune some things before the Colonial Relays.”