Popular convention would tell you that you can not be in two places at once. Clearly, this claim was made without the Rowan women’s indoor track & field squad in mind.
As a direct result of Covid-19 restrictions and roster limitations, Coach Derick “Ringo” Adamson’s team conducted a “split-squad” operation this past Saturday, competing in both the Ithaca Bomber Invite and the Alvernia Plex Shootout.
While Profs of a feather typically fly together, the team managed to display a strong sense of unity and cohesion in spite of being far apart.
Starting in Ithaca, the Profs’ performance certainly lived up to the Bomber Invitational name, releasing explosive energy and dynamic athleticism across the track.
Familiar faces rose to the occasion in a big way, with seniors Makayla Taylor and Promise Fadahunsi and freshman Molly Lodge all claiming first place prizes in their respective events.
For Taylor, her shot put of 12.41 meters topped the event and is a personal best for the campaign, continuing her strong start this season.
Fadahunsi also did well to maintain her momentum, with her time of 7.92 clinching victory in the 60-meter dash.
In regards to Lodge, she found herself on top of things all day long, winning the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.47 and taking second in the 200-meter hurdles with a 26.37.
Lodge’s efforts were extremely helpful on a team basis as well, running alongside juniors Kat Pedersen and Sha’Lynn Clark and freshman Jasmine Broadway as they claimed third in the 4×400 relay at the 4:15.25 mark. The 4×200 relay was also a successful endeavor, with freshman Katelyn Sprague and the aforementioned Fadahunsi, Pedersen, and Clarke finishing second with a time of 1:50.20.
As for the Plex Shootout at Alvernia University, veteran leadership led the way, with senior Nicole Notarianni locking up second place in the 60-meter hurdle at 9.21, her best finish of the season.
In the 400 meter race, Emma Amilcare clocked in at 1:07.27, placing 16 in the event. The only other event of note was the mile run, with junior Carley Tool (5:46.34), Madison Edwards (5:47.23) and Julianne Ferraro (5:48.52) finishing consecutively ranked from 13-15 place.
In spite of the challenges faced by this squad, Coach Adamson’s group remained steadfast yet again. Clearly, Ringo’s calm, composed demeanor has rubbed off on his athletes in a big way.
“Splitting up the squad was quite a task,” Coach Adamson said. “I actually had to borrow a men’s distance coach to help out. In spite of that, both sections did well. I like what is going on out there and they’ve already turned that corner into the championship meets.”
Turning a corner is an understatement when describing the talents of Molly Lodge these past few weeks. Remarkably, she continues to reign supreme in hurdles despite learning the techniques on the fly. To that end, she credits her teammates with making her performances possible.
“This weekend was actually my first ever stay-away track meet so that was the first adjustment,” Lodge said. “My teammates were super helpful with answering questions though and I was rooming with Robin Collura who is always my source of calm.”
Thanks to the supportive nature of this squad, a newcomer like Lodge has been able to transcend all expectations and emerge as a rising star. This support, coupled with an elite mindset, has set her up for continued success.
“I really just take it one race at a time,” Lodge said. “I prepare for my races by taking plenty of time to do my warm-up and listening to my music. I take deep breaths on the line and try to run through what my critiques were and what I’m trying to accomplish for this specific race.”
These simple fundamentals have certainly set the foundation for a remarkable campaign. There are few squad members who understand this better than Nicole Notarianni, who held down the fort on the Plex Shootout side of things. As she enters the latter stage of her track career, setting a good example for her younger teammates remains one of her top priorities.
“I think me and Amanthy Sosa both just automatically fall into the role as leaders rather than just because we’re older on the team,” Notarianni said. “We go to work and try to motivate the team to believe in themselves and their own abilities.”
While maintaining that leadership role, Notarianni is able to make her presence felt no matter the distance. Through the power of concerted effort and a keen sense of timing, it was as though the team had never even left each other’s sides.
Because of this feeling of togetherness, the Profs have noticeably improved. The Profs will have another opportunity to take the next step forward this Friday, Feb. 11 at the Valentine Invitation being held at Boston University.
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