Rowan Women’s Indoor Track and Field records third place finish in the NJAC championships

Gabriella Pagano runs in the 4x400. Pagano ran in the event at the NJAC Championships. Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. - Multimedia Editor / Lee Kotzen

The Rowan women’s indoor track and field took third place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) championships that took place on Monday, Feb. 20, in Staten Island, New York.

While the third-place finish may be surprising to some, Head Coach Derick “Ringo” Adamson had a feeling that the team would place third coming into the event.

“I knew that was going to happen,” Ringo said. “We would have had to go head over heels if we were going to finish in second place, much less win the whole thing. The reason why I say that is we just do not have the people to compete in the horizontal jumps. This goes back to the pandemic when there were not a lot of people to recruit from. But yeah, I think they did everything they were capable of doing.”

Even though the team did as well as Ringo could have hoped, freshman Gabriella Pagano thought the team could have performed a little better, even with the disadvantage that they were faced with.

“I was hoping for a little bit more,” Pagano said. “But considering our circumstances with our limited number of runners, I felt we held our own against the other teams.”

While the team did not win the championship, the day was seen as a success with many Profs setting personal records.

Pagano, Mackenzie Saber, Cammy Wright, Robin Collura, Mia Vaughn, and Mia Gurrea all set personal records in their respective events. The whole season Ringo never told his team the expectation was winning, but instead, just to constantly improve, and they did just that on Monday.

“I feel like they are really listening to what I am telling them,” Ringo said. “I come from a teacher’s background and people a lot of the time try to teach by punishing someone for failure. I feel like that teaches someone to be resentful and hateful. There are positive ways to reinforce people’s hard work ethic. You have to treat them as equals because they probably want to win as much as I want them to. I just want to see them keep improving.”

One athlete who has represented this improvement throughout the course of the season is Pagano. She has fully bought into Ringo’s method of coaching and is constantly striving to get better.

“The way he coaches us is very encouraging,” said Pagano. “It is more about him having us improve instead of him wanting us to beat other people.” 

After a strong indoor season from the freshman, she’s just happy to have gotten a chance to run for the 4×400 team with everything that was at stake.

“I would say I am pretty proud of myself,” Pagano said. “The mile and 800m were only 50 minutes apart, so that was pretty rough. I would say I did pretty well under those circumstances. I am also proud of my 4×400 time. I was just proud that I made that team before the event. It was a pretty big deal for me.”

With the season reaching coming to an end, the team has a short turnaround as Ringo will send some of the athletes to the FastTrack Last Chance Meet this Friday, Feb. 24, while the others will begin training for the spring season.

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