College Outdoor Track & Field
Rider Men Second/Bronc Women Third
Giovagnoli Rider Record in 800
Burroughs Ties MAAC Record in the 110 hurdles
LAWRENCEVILLE--Both the Rider University men's and women's track and field teams competed in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field championships, hosted by Rider with the Bronc men placing runner-up (out of five teams) and the women finishing third of six teams this weekend.
For the Rider men on Sunday, junior James Burroughs (West Orange) won the 110 meter hurdles with an IC4A qualifying time of 14.74 and also won the 400 meter hurdles tying a MAAC championship record with a time of 52.39. Sophomore Wilvenson Baptiste (Irvington) won gold in the men's 200 meter dash running an IC4A qualifying time of 22.15 and was second in the 100 meter dash (11.04).
"On the men's side, I thought the day went really great," said head coach Bob Hamer. "We were consistent, were good in the events we needed to be good in and we mixed in a few surprises. James did a great job. He ran a tremendous IM hurdles race today and that time should get him to NCAA First/Second Round. He won a big race for us and was able to lead the team. And Wilvenson got us some big points in the 100. The jumpers did a good job and in the throws, we did what we needed to do. Overall, we competed with a lot of heart and desire."
"In the 110 hurdles, it was a relief to finally win the race," Burroughs said. "I have a friendly competition with my teammate (David Hightower) and we engage in a lot of banter before our races and it's nice to finally get a win over him. Racing against this type of competition, to win, it feels great. I have rivals from Saint Peter's and Manhattan and they always bring their best each time out. We all push each other to be better."
For the Rider women, sophomore Lauryn Strebeck (Dayton, Ohio/South Brunswick) won the triple jump reaching 11.39 meters and qualifying for ECACs. Strebeck originally finished second, but after the event was protested, the competitors had to jump again and she won the gold.
"The women's team did a great job," Hamer said. "We don't have the biggest roster but they didn't let the lack of depth bother them. Lauren Strebeck in the triple jump was fantastic. It is a testament to her resilience that she was able to go out and re-jump her event after a scoring error."
"This was a stressful meet," Strebeck said. "I was originally second in the triple jump and we found out that there was a measuring error and I had to complete six jumps after. There was a little drama but I ended up winning. I didn't do as well in the hurdles or the long jump, which was disappointing but winning the triple jump was awesome."
Also for the men, junior David Hightower (Easton, Pa./Easton) placed second in the 110 meter high hurdles with an IC4A qualifying time of 14.80 and in the 400 meter dash, freshman Michael Breen (Hazlet/Raritan) took second in 49.71.
"I was proud of how we competed," said Hamer. "We faced a lot of adversity this year and the kids came through strong."
Also for the Bronc women, junior Mia Riley (West Caldwell/James Caldwell) took second in the 100 meter dash (12.36) and was fifth in the 200 meter dash (25.22) and junior Ashley Hunter (Northampton, Pa./Northampton) placed second in the 400 meter hurdles (1:03.19) and was eighth in the 110 meter hurdles (15.84).
Also for the Bronc men, sophomore Steven Brown (Penns Grove) placed third in the triple jump reaching 14.06 meters. Freshman George Solujich (East Windsor/Notre Dame) placed third in the shot put throwing 15.58m and finished fifth in the discus (42.27m) with senior Ron Moore (Nashville, Tenn./John Overton) finishing third in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 53.96.
"If we continue to make improvements and are a little better in a few events, we will continue to contend for the conference title," Hamer said about the men's team.
Senior Heather Giovagnoli (Royersford, Pa./Spring Ford) finished third in the 800 meter in a Rider record time of 2:12.83. Giovagnoli also placed third in the 1500 meter run (4:35.62) and freshman Leonora Paul (Hackensack) placed third in both the shot put (11.57m) and in the discus throw (36.51m).
"I thought Heather Giovagnoli did a great job in the 1500 and got a Rider record in the 800 less than an hour later. Her effort today and Mia running two strong races kind of flew under the radar and are worth mentioning."
In the field for the Rider men, junior Perry Asare (Lindenwold) placed fourth in the triple jump (13.87m), freshman Jonathan Galya (Freehold/Freehold Twp.) came in fourth (1.99m) in the high jump and sophomore Christopher McGovern (Old Bridge) finished fourth (42.33m) in the discus.
Junior Greg Wesh (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) placed fourth in the 800 meter run with an IC4A qualifying time of 1:51.43 and freshman Nasser Zayer (Staten Island N.Y./St. Peter's) placed fourth in the 1500 meter run (3:56.17). Senior Ron Moore (Nashville, Tenn./John Overton) finished fourth in the 110 meter hurdles (15.37m) and freshman Anthony DeFranco (Berkeley Heights/Gov. Livingston) took fourth in the pole vault (4.50m) and was sixth in the 100 meter dash (11.26).
Graduate student Mike Soroko (Kinnelon) placed fifth in the 1500 meter clocking in at 3:57.27 after winning MAAC gold in the 3000 steeplechase on Saturday.
In the 110 hurdles, sophomore Matthew Millemann (Hillsborough) finished fifth with a time of 15.38. Freshman Andrew Pozo (Forked River) placed sixth in the discus (42.16m) after placing sixth in the hammer throw on Saturday and sophomore Joseph Carlin (Staten Island N.Y/Staten Island Tech.) was sixth in the 800 meter (1:53.82).
Freshman Nitessa Brooks (Somerset/Franklin) placed fifth in the shot put throwing 11.38m and was seventh in the discus (31.82m), junior Krista Musinski (West Pittston, Pa./Wyoming Area) finished seventh in the triple jump (10.42m) and in the 400 meter dash freshman Ashley Edwards (Westfield) placed seventh in 59.39.
In the shot put freshman Sydney Grimes (West Orange) finished seventh (10.90m), junior Erin Fitzgibbons (Sayreville) placed seventh in the 5,000 clocking in at 18:20.64 and in the 5,000 meter, freshman Emily Ritter (Millsboro, Del./Sussex Tech) placed eighth running a time of 18:25.33.
The men's 4x100 relay team of Burroughs, Baptiste, Moore, and Hightower finished second in 42.39 and Moore, Burroughs, Wesh and Carlin placed third in the 4x400 meter relay (3:21.63).
The women's 4x400 relay team of Riley, Hunter, Giovagnoli and Edwards finished in second place with a time of 3:55.42.
Rider will compete in the IC4A/ECAC Championships at Princeton University on May 11-13.
"We have a very strong group going to IC4As and ECACs next week at Princeton," Hamer said. "We are looking to get some All-East qualifiers and hopefully some NCAA cuts as well. We have the opportunity for several on both the men's and women's teams to extend their seasons and you can't put a price on that kind of experience that they will get."
On the men's side, Manhattan College won with 226 points and for the women, Saint Peter's College took home the gold scoring 278.50 points.
Rider came in to the MAAC meet as the defending outdoor men's champion with the Bronc women placing third in the spring of 2011.
"The men did the best we could do," Burroughs said. "I'm disappointed that we finished runner-up and I expect us to come out stronger, better and faster next year."
The team did well," Strebeck said. "We are proud of what we accomplished. We don't have the numbers yet (depth) to win the championship but once we get more athletes, I think we can compete for the team title because we have such an amazing team."
Women's Team Scores:
1. Saint Peter's 278.50; 2. Manhattan 181; 3. Rider 135; 4. Iona 113; 5. Loyola 55.5; 6. Marist 44
Men's Team Scores:
1. Manhattan 226; 2. Rider 170; 3. Saint Peter's 118; 4. Iona 85; 5. Marist 49