The Rowan men’s 4×400 meter relay team stole the show again on Saturday, April 16, this time against Division I competition at the War Eagle Invitational.
The team had a multitude of successful performances this week starting with the 4×400 team capturing first in Auburn, which also earned them the top spot in the nation for Division III.
“I feel like we kind of broke the division barrier entering that race,” sophomore Amara Conte said. “We proved that Division I, II or III– it doesn’t matter, as long as the athletes compete at the level… People seeing that we’re a Division III and then to race like that just makes it so amazing.”
It did not stop there though.
Conte ran a personal best with 47.89 in the 400 meters, which clinched fifth at the meet. Other personal bests included sophomore Jake Riley, who ran a time of 3:56.21 in the 1500 meters, junior Marquise Young, who finished with a time of 14.70 in the 110 hurdles and Junior Jake Kolodziej, who finished with a time of 1:52.85 in the 800 meters.
“We’re all just focused on peaking at the right time, which is at Nationals,” Conte said. “The times you see now will only get better from week to week leading into Nationals where we’ll be at our best.”
Head Coach Dustin Dimit also shared similar thoughts on the performances from the team and what to expect in the coming weeks.
“We try to make sure we’re peaking at the right time,” Coach Dimit said. “We do a lot of strength stuff at the beginning of the year and then speed things up as we get closer to championship season.”
The team is now ranked No. one in both the region and nationally but that is no surprise to Coach Dimit. Instead, it is exactly where he expected them to be.
“We knew we had the majority of our guys back,” Coach Dimit said. “We lost the three guys from the 4×400 but we returned everybody else that was at Nationals or close to making Nationals so we knew we would be in the mix this year and in the ‘chance to win’ conversation.”
Coach Dimit shed some light on what has been different about this team’s outdoor season compared to last year.
“We had an indoor season this year so that is the biggest difference,” Coach Dimit said. “We were able to do a lot more and be better prepared at the start of the season… We could do some things now that maybe we weren’t prepared for last year.”
Conte also recognized how the extra time spent together throughout multiple seasons has paid off in the long run.
“I would say the chemistry is very strong because building our bond started way back in the fall,” Conte said. “The bond just grew as the seasons went on and now we’re able to trust each other and have the ability to perform when it matters most and just go out there and have no doubt… That bond and that chemistry makes us a better team.”
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