Senior beats cancer, wins long jump
Senior Greg Smith's long jump win was not only a personal record, but a personal triumph.
The Rider men were first of 17 teams and the Rider women were first of 19 teams at the Rider Invitational Saturday. “Today went great,” says Rider head coach Bob Hamer. “We had a lot of great performances.”
One performance that stands out was not only a personal record, but a personal triumph.
For the Rider men, senior Greg Smith (Milford, N.J. /Delaware Valley) won the long jump with a personal record distance of 22’8”.
This time last year Smith was going through four rounds of chemotherapy. “I had a decent first jump but a few people passed me so my last jump I really just brought it and got a nice PR,” Smith says.
“Greg is just an awesome kid,” Hamer says, “and a big-time hero. The fact that he overcame cancer, sat out last year and to come back like this is amazing. He has made himself into the person he is today. My heart goes out to a person like Greg, who has overcome real life challenges, real life obstacles.”
“After chemo I had surgery (scar from chest to pelvis) and then about six month recovery,” Smith remembers. “A year ago today I wasn’t even allowed to work out yet. I started doing one crunch at a time and worked my way back. From day one I knew I would be back. It was just another hurdle in life.”
Speaking of hurdles, freshman Devon Jefferson (Franklin Park, N.J. /Franklin) won the 110m hurdles (15.19) and placed sixth in the 400m hurdles (56.89).
Junior Anthony DeFranco (Berkeley Heights, N.J. /Governor Livingston) won the pole vault with a height of 15’9”. “Today he tied his PR which is great,” Hamer says.
For the Rider women junior Emily Ritter (Millsboro, Del. /Sussex Tech) won the 3,000m steeplechase in a Rider record time 11:02.73. “That’s the first time she has ever raced that event,” Hamer says. “She obviously did a great job.”
Also for the Rider men, sophomore Charles Wilks (Secane, Pa. /Cardinal O'Hara) placed second in the discus (45.57) and fifth in the shot put 14.35m.
Junior George Solujich (East Windsor, N.J. /Notre Dame) placed second in the shot put in 16.57m and fourth in the discus (44.42m).
Junior Nasser Zayer (Staten Island, N.Y. /St. Peter's) placed second in the 1500m (3:59.60).
Freshman Kyle Bryant (Cherry Hill, N.J. /Cherry Hill HS East) placed second in the triple jump (45’5.25”) and fourth in the high jump (1.89m).
Freshman Lamont Higgins (New Brunswick, N.J. /St. Joseph) placed third in the 400m (49.00), freshman Erik Adamcik ( Hampton, N.J. /North Hunterdon) placed third in the pole vault (14’9”), junior Anthony Dentino (Sewell, N.J. /Washington Township) was third in the 1500m (3:59.80) and junior Andrew Pozo (Forked River, N.J. /Toms River HS South) placed third in the hammer (166’6”) and seventh in the discus (42.40).
The men’s 4 x 100 relay team of freshman Wil Asamoah (Edison, N.J. /Edison), DeFranco, Baptiste and Higgins placed fourth in an IC4A qualifying time of 41.95. Asamoah was also second in the 110m hurdles (15.21).
Sophomore Jon Knipper (Randolph, N.J. /Randolph) placed seventh in the 5,000m (15:46.79).
Senior Quintin Robin (Jamison, Pa. (Central Bucks East) and placed eighth in the pole vault (13’3.5”), Junior Joe Vicini (Millstone, N.J./Notre Dame) was eighth in the hammer (47.35) and sophomore Darien Edwards (South Orange, N.J. /St. Benedict's) placed eighth in the 400m (49.59).
Also for the Rider women, sophomore Miranda Roberts (Sewell, N.J. /Washington Twp.) placed second in the pole vault, breaking her own Rider record with a height of 3.40m and was eighth in the 100m hurdles (15.68). “Miranda has been great this year,” Hamer said. “She’s jumping very consistently at the team record height.”
Senior Rhea Phipps (Basking Ridge, N.J. /Ridge) placed third in the hammer (52.10m) and third in the shot put (11.72m)
Sophomore Dashana Ransome (Irvington, N.J. /Irvington) won the 100m hurdles (14.37), placed third in the long jump (5.56m) and ran on the winning 4 x 100 relay (48.08) with Roberts, sophomore Alicia Osley (Dayton, NJ/South Brunswick, NJ) and Coleman. She was also ninth in the 100m (12.73).
Sophomore Madeline Hummel (Marlton, N.J. /Holy Cross) placed third in the 400m hurdles (1:04.64)
Sophomore La'tazah Coleman (Middletown, Del. /Appoquinimink) was fourth in the high jump (5’3”) and fourth in the 400m (57.37).
Freshman Chinwe Igwe (West Orange, N.J. /West Orange) placed sixth in the hammer (46.99m)
Rider competes in the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton April 19.