“Nationals is still the main goal for everybody and if we’re healthy, we’re confident in ourselves,” said Justin Bishop.
Bishop, a Rowan senior, made his season debut on April 10 at the Bill Butler Invitational, held at West Chester University. On April 17, he made his return to the 4×400 meter relay team, which finished in first place with a time of 3:16.53.
“It felt great to be back in the relay,” Bishop said. “I love the relays and I love the team aspect of them, but it felt good to be back in the lineup and now it’s just about improving each week and staying healthy.”
“It’s great, he’s a four-time All-American [winner] so we know what he brings to the table,” said Head Coach Dustin Dimit. “And he’ll keep improving.”
“Improving is always the goal… and the coaches have been great,” Bishop said. “[Assistant Coach Norm] Tate is great. Coach Dimit is great and the workouts during the week can be really tough, but it all works out. This team, all around the board, has been successful this year and continues to put in the work and chase that ring and it’s great to be a part of it.”
According to Bishop, the team is relying on and pushing each other to new limits at practice.
“This team is tough physically and mentally and we are shooting for that ring and just to get to nationals and compete,” Bishop said.
Bishop said he is feeling better mentally and physically after coming back from a hamstring injury.
“I know the goal and, like the rest of the team, I’m focused,” Bishop said. “I just need to keep myself healthy, keep improving and have myself ready for May.”
After winning 12 events at the Bill Fritz Invitational, Coach Dimit said, “The team is looking forward to continuing to get better and looking forward to competing these next couple weekends and facing some Division I teams. It’s not about winning events right now, just continuing to get better and move up the national list.”
“They’re competing where we expected them to,” Dimit said. “We always set high standards and even with the long layoff we continued to push them at practice, but we still hope to get better and back into meet form.”
Currently, the team is ranked eighth in the national rankings after dropping four spots from fourth last week. They still hold the top spot in the Atlantic Region. The team will compete again this weekend at the Philadelphia Metropolitan Collegiate Invitational held at the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday.
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