The Rider men’s and women’s track and field teams both captured their respective titles at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference outdoor track and field championships on May 5. The dual victories mark the first time that both the men’s and women’s teams have won the conference championship in the same season.
“My goal when I took over the program five years ago was to win both titles in the same season,” said head coach Bob Hamer, who was voted both men’s and women’s MAAC Coach of the Year. “To have everybody happy is a great thing. It’s always a little rough when you win on one side and have half a team happy.”
The Rider men finished with 242 points, knocking off defending champs Manhattan (185 points) by 57 points and the women recorded 252.5 points topping Saint Peter’s (226.50) by 26 points.
For the Rider men, Wilvenson Baptiste ’14 was named Most Outstanding Track Performer. Baptiste won MAAC gold in both the 100-meter dash (10.98) and the 200-meter dash (21.66), and helped lead the 4x100-meter relay team to a first place finish and the 4x400-meter relay to MAAC silver.
“It was a good meet from start to finish. I think everybody on the team gave a solid effort,” Baptiste said. “It was good to see a win on both sides. I try to lead by example by doing the right things at practice.”
The men’s 4x100-meter relay team of James Burroughs ’13, Anthony DeFranco ’15, Baptiste and David Hightower ’13 won in 42.08.
Hightower won MAAC gold in the 110-meter hurdles (14.24) in IC4A qualifying time, setting a new meet record, while Burroughs claimed the 400-meter hurdles (53.78).
For the Rider women, La’tazah Coleman ’16 won the 100-meter dash (12.12) and the 200-meter dash (24.74), while Dashana Ransome ’16 won the 100-meter hurdles (14.09), setting meet and Rider records in the process, and qualifying for the ECAC. Lauryn Strebeck ’14 won the triple jump (11.58m) and sophomore Taylor Harmon ’15 won the high jump (1.61m).
The women’s 4x100-meter relay team of Ransome, Mia Riley ’13, Miranda Roberts ’16 and Coleman won in 47.76.
This is the men’s second MAAC Championship in three years and the team’s eighth conference title overall. The men won their last MAAC team title in 2011, are four-time East Coast Conference (ECC) champs (1986, 1989, 1991, 1992) and are two-time Northeast Conference (NEC) champs (1994, 1995).
This is the third overall MAAC championship for the Rider women, which also won outdoor team titles in 2004 and 2007.
Qualifiers from the Rider men’s and women’s teams will travel up the road to Princeton University to compete at the 137th IC4A/30th ECAC Championships May 10 to 12.
Women’s Final Team Standings:
1. Rider 252.5
2. Saint Peter’s 226.50
3. Manhattan 117
4. Iona 104
5. Loyola (Md.) 74
6. Marist 33
Men’s Final Team Standings:
1. Rider 242
2. Manhattan 185
3. Saint Peter’s
4. Iona 81
5. Marist 39.5
For a complete account of all Rider results from the MAAC Championships, visit GoBroncs.com.