The Rowan men’s track and field team continued to improve their national qualifying marks last week at the University of South Carolina (USC) Open, and broke some records in the process.
Freshman Evan Corcoran broke teammate Jah’mere Beasley’s outdoor 100-meter school record, clocking in a time of 10.38. Corcoran’s mark is the second-fastest time in all of Division III this year, but it does not qualify him for nationals due to some wind assistance.
“It felt really good,” Corcoran said. “Obviously, it was really cool to run down there at South Carolina against some really good competition. A lot of it was just proving to myself that I can run times like that, and even though it was wind dated, it was more so just for myself that I can run those times.”
The 4×100 and 4×400 teams did not achieve the national record goals that they had set for themselves, but they did record times that improved their national rankings.
The 4×100 team, who was missing Shamar Love, ran a time of 40.87, which was good enough for ninth overall at the meet. The 4×400 team came just shy of their own school record, running a time of 3:10.07, which is the top time in the nation.
“The 4×100 just missed the school record, and that was without Shamar, so we were really happy to run 40.8 again with a substitution and know that we have that depth where we can take people out if we need to at nationals,” Head Coach Dustin Dimit said. “We went down and hit times that will get us into nationals. … That’s why we pay to go on those trips. It shows them that they can compete.”
Beasley and junior Amara Conte both had a great day individually, as Beasley ran 20.96 in the 200 meter, which is good enough for fourth in all of Division III and a personal second-best time. Conte would win his heat in the 400 meter with a time of 47.06, a personal best for him.
“They’re both fourth in the country, both wanted to run a little faster,” Dimit said. “He [Amara] won his heat, Jah’mere took second in his heat, Evan won his heat at an SEC meet. He [Evan] finished 13th overall, even though he’s in the fourth heat, so that means he was seeded 32nd and finished 13th. That’s all you can ask for.”
For Corcoran, South Carolina was unlike anything he had ever experienced before, and while he is thankful for the chance to have run there, he knows that the job is not finished.
“We’re confident, but we understand that there’s still work to be done,” Corcoran said. “There’s always work to be done.”
The javelin team saw senior Julio Lebron reach a personal best with a mark of 60.42 meters. Senior Greg Poloso had an off day based on his past performances, but he was still able to finish fourth.
“It wasn’t good conditions, so we didn’t have them take all the throws,” Dimit said. “They really like throwing at TCNJ, that’s where they set PRs last year, so we said if the weather wasn’t great, they would take three.”
A matchup with The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) is coming up this week, as the team will compete in both the Lions Invitational held at TCNJ, and the Penn Relays held at the University of Pennsylvania.
As conference and championship season inches closer, the team remains focused and is beginning to lock in on their goals.
“The national rankings came out yesterday [Tuesday] and we were ranked number two, but number two isn’t the goal, number one is,” Corcoran said. “ Understanding that we can’t be complacent and that we have to continue to improve, because other teams around the country are also improving. If we stay complacent and are happy where we’re at, then we’re gonna get passed up.”
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