Rider Hosts MAAC Championships This Weekend
LAWRENCEVILLE--Rider University will once again be the site of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships, May 5-6.
"We really enjoy hosting the MAAC Championships," said Rider head coach Bob Hamer. "It is a very comfortable and familiar environment for our athletes. It is a great opportunity for them to compete in a championship atmosphere in front of many of their family, friends and peers."
The competition begins Saturday afternoon at 4:00pm with the hammer throw. The running events begin at 4:30pm with the 4 x 800 relay. On Sunday competition begins at 11:00am with the high jump. The running events begin at 12 noon with the 4 x 100 relay.
There is a $15 admission price on Sunday. Student/child price is $5.00.
It is also a Code Cranberry for Rider student-athletes.
The Rider men won the 2011 MAAC Championships last spring by 100 points over perennial champion Manhattan. The Rider women placed third last spring.
"On the men's side we are hoping to compete for a championship," Hamer said. "It is going to be very difficult because Manhattan and Saint Peter's are very strong, but we have some great athletes who are very excited for the challenge that lies ahead."
Hightower broke the MAAC record in the 110m hurdles last spring and finished second in the 400m hurdles to Burroughs.
The Broncs will be led on the women's side by junior Mia Riley (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell), senior Heather Giovagnoli (Royersford, Pa./Spring Ford) and junior Nicole Tassello (Suffern, N.Y./Suffern) on the women's side.
Both Riley and Tassello have been honored this year by the MAAC as Performers of the Week.
Riley won the MAAC 100m dash last spring, while Tassello set a new Rider record in the 10,000 meters this season. Recently at Princeton Riley ran the 100m in an ECAC qualifying time of 12.03.
Giovagnoli holds the Rider records for the 800m, the 1500m and the mile.
Strebeck won the triple jump at the MAAC indoor championships this past winter.
The women's Distance Medley Relay team of junior Megan Elgin (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East), junior Ashley Hunter (Northampton, Pa./Northampton), senior Kristen Perrine (Brick/Brick Memorial) and Giovagnoli recently set a new Rider record time of 11:50.50 at the Penn Relays.
"We may have some women missing due to injuries but we still expect some outstanding individual performances," Hamer said
Also for the Rider men junior Sean Donohue (Cliffwood Beach/Matawan) and freshman Anthony Dentino (Sewell, NJ/Washington Twp.) will lead the distance events. Donohue was second in the MAAC 10,000m championship last year, while Dentino was Rider's top cross country runner this past fall.
Freshman George Solujich (East Windsor, NJ/Notre Dame) and junior Jorge Merino (Old Bridge) will lead the weight events and freshman Jonathan Galya (Freehold, NJ/Freehold Twp.) and junior Greg Smith (Milford, NJ/Delaware Valley) will lead the jumpers.
Merino was third in the discus and fourth in the shot put last spring at the MAAC Championships. Galya was third in the MAAC high jump this past winter.
This past winter at the MAAC Indoor Championships the Rider men placed second to Manhattan and the Rider women were fourth. Both teams are looking forward to improving on those marks this weekend.