News: Athletics

Olympic Dreams

By David Pavlak ’13, MA ’14

Track and field star Jazmine Fenlator ’07 drove her way into Rider history Feb. 18 and 19, becoming the University’s first varsity athlete to compete in the Olympics.

Fenlator, paired with summer Olympian Lolo Jones, piloted the US-3, BMW-designed sled into 11th place in the 19-team two-man bobsled competition in Sochi, Russia. The U.S. Bobsled team also picked up silver and bronze medals in women’s bobsled.

“Jazmine was a tremendous athlete at Rider and she has taken her abilities to a whole new level in earning a berth on the US Olympic team,” says Bob Hamer, Rider cross-country/track and field head coach. “She has worked very hard for many years and she has made many sacrifices to make this dream come true. She is a true inspiration for all of us at Rider. She deserves all of this success and it could not have happened to a better person.”

Fenlator became involved in bobsledding in September 2007 and was originally a pusher or brakeman. For the last three years she has competed in the more important role as the driver.

As a senior at Rider, Fenlator was named the Most Outstanding Performer at both the Indoor and Outdoor Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Track & Field Championships, leading Rider to a pair of team titles.

Fenlator won five MAAC gold medals that year, earned All-East honors in four different events set new Rider records in five different events, and qualified for the NCAA Regional Championship in three events. She shared the Athlete of the Year award with NBA lottery pick Jason Thompson ’08, currently a member of the Sacramento Kings.

A journalism major (multimedia communications/advertising) from Wayne, N.J., who graduated magna cum laude, Fenlator was Rider’s New Jersey AIAW Woman of the Year and the MAAC’s nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year award in 2007.

As a junior in 2006 she was named one of the top 25 performers in the 25-year history of the MAAC, covering all sports except basketball.

“I really enjoyed my time at Rider,” says Fenlator, who was named to CoSIDA’s ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 2 women’s track and field/cross-country team and to the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association 2007 All-Academic Team. “I learned a lot of valuable lessons, both on the athletic and academic side. I am very appreciative of the opportunities that enabled me to prepare for my future successes.”

Two-time Olympian Caroline Lind ’10, M.B.A., competed in both the 2008 and 2012 summer games, bringing home gold with her teammates in the women’s eights rowing. Lind, who completed her undergraduate degree at Princeton University, became Rider’s first alum to compete in the Olympics. Fenlator is the first undergraduate and former student athlete from Rider to compete in the games.

Photo gallery of Jazmine Fenlator

Other Bronc Bits

The Rider University Department of Athletics announced the 2014 Hall of Fame class. The group includes Fred Swick ’55 of the baseball and soccer teams, Derrick Lamar ’85 of the basketball team, Chad Liott ’99 of the wrestling team, and pitchers Heather Beintema ’06 and James Hoey. The class will be inducted on June 7 during Reunion Weekend.

The field hockey team won the MAAC regular season championship in its inaugural season in the conference. The team finished with an overall record of 13-7, going 5-1 during in-conference play.

Amanda Burke ’10 is another hopeful Olympian for Team USA. Burke is working toward the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as a member of the diving team. Burke competed in USA Winter Nationals December 17-19.

For more information about Rider athletics, visit

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