Rowan Men’s Track and Field starts strong at the FastTrack Season Opener

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Marquise Young competes in the 60 meter hurdle. The senior placed first in the event at the FastTrack Season Opener on Friday, Dec. 1. - Photo via Rowan Athletics

Rowan Men’s Indoor Track and Field has the makings of a national contender, setting the bar high in their first meet of the 2023-24 season at the FastTrack Season Opener on Friday, Dec. 1. With no team scoring, the focus was on winning events and attaining qualifying marks for nationals.

Even with about three-quarters of the team not participating, the Profs left the meet with three first-place and multiple other top-five finishes across numerous events.

“I think it was one of our best openers since I’ve been here,” Head Coach Dustin Dimit said. “You can definitely tell how hard the guys were working all fall. We’ll have probably at least three marks that will get into nationals in the first week. With the way we set up training, this is a sign of good things to come.”

Standing out for the Profs were senior Marquise Young and freshman Damarion Potts. Young took home first in the 60-meter hurdle, setting his personal record with a time of 8.02 seconds. He also ran with the winning team in the 4x400m relay, while Potts placed third in the high jump and fourth in the long jump in his first collegiate meet.

“It was very important to start off strong,” Young said. “We emphasized it a lot in the offseason, because the better we start off, the faster we qualify for nationals, and the less reps we’ll have to take in an event. For instance, I’m sitting at number two right now, so technically I wouldn’t have to run [the 60 meters] again, but I will keep running it more for the work.”

With winter break approaching, Rowan doesn’t have another meet until Jan. 12. That doesn’t deter the Profs from continuing to work, even without scheduled practices.

“I’m going to do my part as a captain and a leader and make sure these guys come out here and practice as much as possible,” Young said. “We have to continue to get the work in. We’ll be working on the track, off the track, making sure the guys are all good in their classes, and just basically leading by example.”

That type of leadership is how championship teams are built. Even when they don’t have to be out there in the cold, the Profs continue to work hard, because they know greatness does not come easy.

“You saw how many guys are out there anyway even though the coaches are not there,” Dimit said. “They’ve got to put in the work. It’s a real challenge in our sport that there’s five weeks between meets where we don’t have practice, and we have to come back and be ready. They just need to put that work in and they seem committed to do so.”

Rowan has a lot of young talent, paired with great coaching and strong upperclassmen leaders. That mix is dangerous for any opposing competition with 2024 drawing near.

“I’m excited to see our young guys compete,” Young said. “Coach Dimit brought in a lot of young guys that are expected to come in and help the team out. We were missing a lot of pieces last year, but he recruited those guys and I’m excited to see them compete and help us win a national title.”

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