A year is a long time to take off from any sport, but conditioning for track & field can be a little harder than others.
This conditioning is something that Rowan Men’s Track & Field Head Coach Dustin Dimit is prepared for.
Coach Dimit came to Rowan six years ago and since then has had nothing but success. His resume says it all: six seasons as head coach, six straight seasons as NJAC [New Jersey Athletic Conference] Coach of the Year, six straight NJAC Indoor Championships and 12 NJAC Championships in total.
When he came to Rowan, he saw it as somewhere he could be happy and hopefully spend the rest of his career. He was intrigued by the amount of success former coaches had at Rowan and hoped to continue that trend.
Dimit never anticipated missing multiple seasons due to a pandemic that the world has not seen in a century. However, he spoke highly of how his team handled the situation.
“The athletes continued to put in the work and continued to train during the summer and the fall,” Dimit said, “while trying to stay motivated and keep big goals ahead of them.”
He also described what it was like to have last season put on hold after so much preparation.
“It was rough missing a season that we had high expectations for,” he said, “but we look forward to this season and we think we have some unfinished business.”
The announcement of spring sports coming back was not a big celebration for the team. According to Dimit, the student athletes are excited and ready to get going, but are also aware that one mistake can mess it up. He says that they need to stay focused and do everything they can to keep themselves eligible to compete.
“The team right now is a little reserved but very optimistic, and are holding their excitement for three weeks from now when their season officially begins,” Dimit said.
He also spoke about the difficulties there are with coaching during a pandemic.
“I feel track might be the easiest when it comes to restrictions, luckily,” he said. “Because it is easy for us to break the team into groups and keep them socially distanced with masks on while training for specific events.”
Dimit said they are still being extremely cautious to keep from any infection that would lead the team to a full blown quarantine. When asked if there are any differences between restrictions for running events and field events, he explained that there really aren’t any — just masks and social distancing, as usual.
Despite the challenges, Dimit has high hopes for this year.
“We have big goals ahead of us. It is a very talented team that is returning 16 athletes, including 12 athletes that competed at nationals last indoor season,” he said. “So we are very excited to see what we can do along with some freshmen that we have big expectations for.”
Dimit believes his team is a very well rounded group and the size of the roster gives an advantage. The two teams he said would be their toughest competition if he had to choose would be Stockton and TCNJ.
“Those two teams are usually well coached and have good talent,” Dimit said, “but there are a lot of talented teams out there and we just hope to do our best and stay healthy.”
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