After 10 first place finishes last week, men’s track and field prepare for Fasttrack National Invitational

Shai Mumford competes in an event earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Rowan Athletics

The Rowan men’s indoor track and field team made themselves the ones to beat this past weekend at the Bomber Invitational in Ithaca, New York.

They were explosive in more than half of the events on the first day of the meet, having 10 first place finishes out of 19 total events.

“We got what we wanted out of it,” said head coach Dustin Dimit. “I think it went pretty well. It’s important to get some good times on a flat track.”

Freshman John Owens placed first in the long jump, sophomore Earnest Daniel took first in the high jump and Justin Bishop tallied a season-best 49.83 for first in the 400 meters. Matt Russo was top in the 5000 meters event in which he set a team-best time of 15:17.52. The distance medley relay, 4×200 meter relay and 4×400 meter relay teams all took first as well.

“It was pretty decent, our four by two [4×200],” said sophomore Tyler Garland, who was part of the winning relay alongside senior Shai Mumford and freshmen Spencer Jarrett and Dayquan Murray. “I was pleased with my performance. It was okay, but I could do better.”

Garland also competed in the 60-meter hurdles event, placing in second.

For Dimit, the meet served as a good predecessor for not only the upcoming David Hemery Valentine Invitational at Boston University this Saturday, but also for Nationals at the Fasttrack National Invitational.

“We have some guys going to Valentine and the rest are going to Nationals in Staten Island,” Dimit said. “We’re also really focusing on the outdoor nationals that happens afterwards. We plan a whole season’s practice at the start in a way that all the practices are connected one way or another…we don’t have access to an indoor track, so we try to do our best on the track out here. Today [this past Monday] is a nice day but last week it was tough with the cold.”

Garland and the rest of the team will be gearing up for an action-packed rest of the season that the next month holds. After this upcoming weekend, the team will head back to Staten Island for the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championships on Feb. 18, followed by the Armory College Last Chance meet, All-Atlantic Track & Field Conference Championships and the coveted NCAA DIII Championships.

“Mentally, I’m getting all my homework done early,” Garland said. “I try to get focused and help my teammates get focused. The practices are hard man, everything is hard. But I know Coach puts me through this so I can give it my best shot and he does the same for my teammates.”

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