Few programs can boast a conference championship for a specific sport, let alone multiple—and in a row.
Rowan University can do just that after the women’s track and field team won their fifth-consecutive New Jersey Athletic Conference Championship, and the men’s track and field team won their third straight title.
Before the meet, women’s coach Derick “Ringo” Adamson said that the season was building toward the NJAC Championships.
“They all know what’s at stake,” Adamson said. “They’re very focused.”
That focus showed as a few runners put up season-best times and many won individual titles in the squad’s 202-point performance. Rowan held off rival The College of New Jersey, which finished with 181 team points.
Both the 4×200 meter relay team and Nia Lawrence, in the 60-meter dash, placed first with season-best times. The Profs also finished first in the 4×400 relay, the 200 meter, the 3000 meter and the long jump.
On the men’s side, the story was not much different, save for the margin of victory.
With 245 points, the brown and gold finished 100 better than the second-place team, TCNJ.
“We were really happy with how we did,” head coach Dustin Dimit said. “When you’re supposed to win by that much, it’s easy for the kids to let their guards down and not compete at their highest level. We thought people did really well and we feel like we’ll win ECAC’s and carry that onto nationals.”
Dimit added that the margin of victory proves that the team is complete, talented and deep, and that they are ready for the bigger meets.
Like the women’s side, the men’s team also saved some of their top performances for the championship meet.
David Benjamin, Jamil Jackson and Daniel “Fitch” Henry had season highs in the 60-meter dash, the 400 meter and the 3000 meter, respectively. The 4×200 and the 4×400-meter relays also notched season-best times.
“We try to set up our training so they do compete their best at the end of the year,” Dimit said. “That’s just validation that the things they do in training are working and it’s building toward doing well at the national meet.”
The brown and gold were also able to take first in the 60-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, distance medley relay and 4×800-meter relay.
The next event on the schedule for the teams is the Fastrack Last Chance Invitational on Saturday.
Despite having 25 people qualified for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships (ECACs) and three locked in for nationals, Dimit said that this is a chance for those who are just missing the cut to qualify for both.
“We don’t really try to chase ECAC qualifiers, but it’s sharpening up for some people or a chance to get them in an event where they could win,” he said. “It isn’t a scored meet or anything like that. It’s a chance to do well in the events we need to improve on or for those that are close to national qualifiers.”