It’s early in the season, but Rowan men’s indoor track & field is already making some noise in the national rankings.
Since coming off of winter break, the team has performed well in two separate meets. On Saturday, Jan. 14, the team took home eight first-place finishes at the Alvernia Winter Invitational. This included Nana Agyemang in the long jump, Amara Conte in the 800 meters and newcomer Jarquil Young in the 400 meters.
Senior Ahmir Johnson also turned in a top-five mark in the triple jump with a distance of 14.48 meters. Johnson finished second, behind Agyemang, in the long jump as well with a mark of 6.81 meters.
“Right now, we haven’t done a ton with the jumps,” Head Coach Dustin Dimit said. “So wherever we are with the long jump, triple jump, high jump, pole vault those are things we’re just gonna keep getting better… Our guys are always jumping well at regionals going into nationals and that’s why they’re All-Americans when we get there.”
This team is coming off of a very successful 2021 indoor season that saw them win a NCAA Division III National Championship in the 4×400 meter relay, but they have left that in the past and are hungry for more.
“We really set up training, for some of the national level guys, a little bit differently this year,” Coach Dimit said. “We’re lifting a lot harder, the workouts they’ve all noticed have been ramped up… This year we keep saying ‘great not good.’ We’ve been good, we’re ready to do something more than that and make sure we continue to keep that legacy going and try to take it one step further.”
Aside from nationals, the team still looks to win the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and perform well at regionals, small goals that Coach Dimit does not overlook.
“For us, it’s every week getting better,” Coach Dimit said. “If we just said nationals it is really easy to say ‘why am I here this week?’ We hear it too ‘I want to run fast this week.’ That’s great but I’d rather you work harder in practice this week so we run even faster at the end of the year and that sacrifices some things for how fresh we feel, but we’ve had a good history of peaking at the right time.”
As for NJACs, Johnson is confident in himself and the team, and views it as an opportunity to prepare for what lies beyond that meet.
“There’s nobody that I’m really concerned about in our conference,” Johnson said. “I kind of use conferences as a pre-meet for nationals. It’s like practice for nationals.”
Johnson has high aspirations for his senior season. He has already started it off strong but he is working towards bigger goals that will keep him motivated as he enters his final indoor track season.
“I want to be a national champion again, hopefully for a team title,” Johnson said. “I want to qualify for the Olympic trial standards… my personal goals are Olympic trial standards, national champion, team title. If I can get all of that, it’s perfect.”
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