Rowan University men’s track and field team traveled to Ithaca College last weekend to compete in the Bomber Invitational. They saw some success and even broke records in the process.
On Saturday, Jamil Jackson, Dave Benjamin and the 4×400 relay team won first place in their respective categories.
Jackson and Benjamin have won first multiple times this year. Jackson has won the 400 meter three times, and Benjamin has also won the 60-meter hurdles three times. For Jackson, his time of 50.16 was a season best.
“He’s coming along, his training is really coming together,” men’s track coach Dustin Dimit said. “Even more so than that, we were really happy for the relay and how they ran. They moved from not even being in the national picture to fifth in the country. We’re on the right path there and we’re really happy with that and him individually.”
On the second day of the meet, freshman Matt Grillo finished the heptathlon in seventh place with 4,480 points. Grillo broke the Rowan record set by Sam Maniglia, who had 4,197 points last year.
“We thought that he would break the school record in that,” Dimit said. “He was a high school All-American in the decathlon, but this is his first heptathlon in his life. So the fact that he went out and did that right away, we’re really happy knowing he can do a lot better when he gets to do it again.”
The brown and gold have only one more meet before they head to Ocean Breeze Track Center in Staten Island, New York for the New Jersey Athletic Conference championships.
While they have had much success thins year, Dimit said the team still has things that they need to work on when they go to St. Joseph’s Winter Invitational this weekend.
“We’re trying to set our order for the 4×200 since we haven’t ran one yet,” Dimit said. “Where we’re going is a great place to jump so we’re hoping to improve our national standing in some of those events. For some of the events where we’re really deep, this is going to determine who runs at NJACs.”
Dimit added that the team is confident that they are going to win the conference.
The Profs have won the NJAC the past two seasons, and are currently the No. 17 ranked team in all of Division III by U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
“It doesn’t really mean anything in our sport at the end of the day, but it’s validation for the guys that we’re there,” Dimit said. “I just realized [we were ranked] last night. We should go up after this week so we’re excited to see where we are.”