The Rowan men’s indoor track & field team continues to trend upward after two more outings at Ithaca College and Alvernia University on Saturday, Feb. 5.
The team hit multiple All-Atlantic Region Track and Field Conference (AARTFC) marks, in jumps, sprints and distance events, during the two meets and were honored with recognition from the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).
Sophomore runner, Marquise Young, ran the fastest NJAC mark in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.32 which is also ranked 19 fastest in Division III this season. This outing from Young earned him NJAC’s Men’s Track & Field Rookie of the Week.
Head Coach Dustin Dimit, recognized the ability of his team to perform well and place in all facets of competition.
“We’ve built a really balanced team,” Coach Dimit said. “We expect people to be able to place and depth has been one of the keys to our success in not losing a conference title in the last eight years.”
Coach Dimit complimented the rest of the teams in the conference and knows that the NJAC Championship will not be handed over to them.
“It’ll be closer this year,” Coach Dimit said. “Some of the other teams have gotten a little bit better but we are still confident our guys can pull it out.”
With just under two weeks to go until the conference championship meet, Coach Dimit and junior Ahmir Johnson touched on the team’s mentality as championship season quickly approaches.
“Just to know that we are ready,” Coach Dimit said. “We put in the work, we want to be really focused these last couple of weeks and stay healthy and continue to work hard to get some good results.”
Johnson added that this will be no different from other meets.
“It is the same thing we’ve always been doing,” Johnson said. “Just go right in and compete and if everybody does their job, there are no issues.”
Johnson also spoke about the accountability on this team and how it separates them from past teams.
“Everybody holds each other accountable,” Johnson said. “We all come to practice every day and work hard and everybody at this point is starting to reach their goals and starting to see the results from all the training we’ve done. I think that is how the team is competitively building up.”
Johnson, who competes in multiple events, explained what he does to keep his body right and protect himself from past injuries.
“I make sure to protect my hamstrings, I have a bad injury past with them,” Johnson said. “I consider myself to be a better triple jumper but recently long jump has become more enjoyable… I would say long-jump is more dangerous for my hamstrings though because of it just being one all-out sprint.”
The team is scheduled for two meets this week, Friday and Saturday for the Fasttrack National Invitational at Ocean Breeze Complex in Staten Island and the Valentine Invitational in Boston, and Coach Dimit talked about how he will split reps for his team to prevent wearing them down.
“Only sending three distance guys and the 4×400 team to Boston,” Coach Dimit said. “Only reason they are going up to Boston is to get some good competition for the mile and that 4×400, so we are focusing on that and everyone else will have a good meet at Ocean Breeze.”
The time is TBA for the team’s meet on Saturday in Boston but the meet at Ocean Breeze will begin at 2:00 p.m. After this weekend the team will have nine days until their next meet, the NJAC Indoor Track & Field Championships, where they will look to capture their ninth straight title.
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