It is official — the 2022-2023 Rowan men’s indoor track & field team has surpassed the standard of teams past. On Monday, Feb. 20, the Profs captured their eighth consecutive New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship in dominating fashion.
It was not just another conference title for them though. They also broke their own school record in the 4×200 meter relay with a time of 1:26.43. This time brought them within a tenth of a second of breaking their second national record (1:26.33).
“It feels good,” Head Coach Dustin Dimit said. “That’s just validation for all the hard work that the guys have been putting in. That’s an expectation in our program now, and it’s something that we really try to stress is to enjoy that because nobody here has ever lost one in indoor or outdoor track. So it’s something that sometimes we just want to make sure they don’t take for granted.”
The team also got big contributions from freshman Shane Vostenak, sophomore Matthew Conway, junior Brandon Jarrett and senior Justin Kelly.
Vostenak captured first place in the 5000 meter with a personal record of 15:12.34 while Conway finished second with a season-best time of 15:15.89. Kelly was able to capture first place in the 3000 meter as well with a time of 8:40.36, placing Jarrett second with a time of 8:42.
“It’s a credit to them and a credit to Coach Dubois [Assistant Coach Eric DuBois] who set up their race plans,” Coach Dimit said. “It’s big that those guys stepping up means everyone else can relax and just attack their event and not worry, and then as coaches we can do that too and not have to worry about changing whose in relays and those things to try and maximize points.”
While it might seem like the team has peaked, Coach Dimit thinks they are just getting started.
“There’s a couple kids where we do like a mini-peak for indoor and some of them are right there,” Coach Dimit said. “For the national level people, this is where we start running fast. Marquise [Young] I think will run faster this year, Kwaku [Nkrumah] I think will run faster… Jah’mere [Beasley] is hitting his stride now. We think they’re just starting to hit their stride and we think they’re gonna run just as fast if not faster as we hit regionals and nationals.”
Coach Dimit has been with the Profs since 2014-2015 and although he has coached a lot of impressive teams, he believes this one is the best of the best.
“Yeah it is [the most talented team]. It’s the focus they have on what we’re trying to do and what they’re trying to do… We’ve coached this team a little bit differently because we had so much talent returning,” Coach Dimit said.
Coach Dimit went on to explain that because he believes this team is so talented, the way they are handling this season is different than most, even compared to what he thinks was a very talented 2018 squad.
“This team is approaching things a little bit differently this year than that team because some of them are already national champions,” Coach Dimit said. “This group we’ve been trying to be very cautious with because almost all of them are back next year, so that’s the scary thing.”
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