Track teams continue to improve

Kyle Luther
Spring won the 400m among the non-Division I athletes at Rider.

The men’s and women’s track teams excelled at the Rider Invitational over the weekend, continuing their recent impressive finishes. The men’s team earned a second place finish and the women finished third at Lawrence Town, New Jersey.

The men scored a total of 194 points, six less than the host, Rider University, who came in first place with 200 points. The Violets took the first seven non Division I places in the 5,000-meter race. Senior Sebastian Oja added to his already impressive season with a first place victory, clocking in at 15 minutes, 28.88 seconds. Junior Daniel Rieger and sophomore Jorge Maldonado finished in close succession for the second and third places, while sophomore Zach Karas finished fourth. The three of them finished just seconds behind Oja, clocking in at 15:36.72, 15:37.58, and 15:44.82

Senior Zac Kish was the fastest non-Division I runner in the 800 meter with a time of 1:56.57, while junior Max Avila placed third with a time of 1:58.03. The Violets also had strong showings in the 1,500 meter, with six runners scoring.

In relays, the Violets’ 4×800 meter was the fastest non-Division I team, clocking in at a time of 8:19.28. The 4×400 meter team placed second with a 3:26.75 time and the 4×100 meter was third at 43.24.

Senior Johnny Lake and sophomore Budd Brown won the 3,000 meter and 400 meter steeplechases respectively.

After finishing in the middle of the pack at the ECAC Championship, the Violets have done markedly better, recently finishing seventh out of 28 teams at the Roadrunner Invitational and now second out of 23 teams.

The women’s team has also excelled lately, finishing the Rider Invitational in third place. The women had been placing near the end of the pack for the majority of the season, but have turned things around with a middle-of-the-road 14th out of 28 finish at the Roadrunner Invitational and now a third place finish out of 24 teams.

The Violets ended the weekend with 146 total points, while Kutztown University earned 245 points for a dominant first-place finish.

Junior Kristina Harris competed well in both the 100 and 200 meters. In the 200 meter, Harris finished the fastest among non-Division I athletes with a time of 25.97. In the 100 meter, she placed second at 12.52. Both times were career bests for the junior.

In the 400 meter, senior Caroline Spring took first place among non-Division I runners at 1:00.25. Freshman Ireland Gibson was runner up with a 1:00.51 time and junior Lydia Guo came in fourth.

The women’s team also dominated in the relays, winning the 4×400 meter with a 4:05.03 time and the 4×800 meter at 9:38.28.

The Violets will be back next weekend to compete in the Larry Ellis Distance Night at Princeton University and the Widener University Invitational in Chester, Pennsylvania.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 13 print edition. Email Kyle Luther at [email protected]

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