The Rowan men’s track and field team continued to roll last weekend at the Philadelphia Metropolitan Collegiate Invitational held at the University of Pennsylvania.
The team’s 4×400 meter relay, which included Amara Conte, Jah’mere Beasley, Justin Bishop and Francis Terry, ran a second place time of 3:12.35. That time ranks first in the conference and first in Division III. Justin Bishop’s performance in the relay earned him New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Track Athlete of the Week.
Another standout performance came from Ahmir Johnson, who broke the school record in the triple jump with a winning jump of 14.72 m (48’ 3.5”) which stands as the best mark in the conference and third in Division III.
Johnson talked about his mark and how it felt to go up against the competition.
“It was a good change of pace to go up against new competition and I always perform better when I know I’m going up against someone better than me,” Johnson said. “That pushes me even harder to have a better mark and really challenges me.”
Johnson also spoke about how it felt to break the school record.
“It feels good to break the record and it was definitely one of my goals, but I’m still trying to go farther and I know I can do it,” Johnson said.
When he was asked about what has helped him get his technique and form down so well, he credited YouTube.
“I watched a lot of YouTube videos of jumpers with a similar body type,” Johnson said. “That, along with the coaching, helped me out a lot.”
Johnson went on to say that he feels “absolutely amazing” mentally and physically, and discussed how he wants to get better as this season and his career progresses.
“I want to continue to get stronger and work on the little things to slowly improve myself, and just continue to put the work in,” Johnson said. “I’m excited about the competition in the coming weeks and looking forward to competing at nationals and bettering myself overall.”
Coach Dustin Dimit commented on Johnson and his progression for the future.
“Ahmir will continue to progress well,” Dimit said. “He’s just putting things together right now but is very talented and we’re excited for his progression this season and in the long run as well.”
According to Dimit, the meet on Saturday morning did not start off the way they had hoped.
“It was a little rough early in the morning, but later in the day with Ahmir and the 4×400 we started looking better,” Dimit said. “It was great to go up against that competition and we’re looking forward to this coming week as well.”
Dimit went on to say that the team’s confidence level right now is good and that they hope to continue to improve as the weather gets warmer and the guys continue working.
“As we keep going, our goal is to capture another conference title and get as many guys to qualify for nationals as possible,” he said.
The team is currently ranked seventh in Division III after jumping one spot from their eighth place ranking last week. They still hold the top spot in the Atlantic Region. The team will compete again this Saturday at home.
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