Rowan Women’s Indoor Track and Field shines at the FastTrack Season Opener

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Nevaeh Lorjuste sprints to the finish line. Lorjuste finished first in the 400 meter during the FastTrack Season Opener. - Photo via Rowan Athletics

Rowan Women’s Indoor Track and Field had many standout performances in their first meet of the season in Staten Island, New York at the FastTrack Season Opener. 

One standout performance was from junior Nevaeh Lorjuste, as she finished first overall in the 400-meter with a time of 56.88. The junior standout was also named the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Track and Field Athlete of the Week. Lorjuste is ecstatic with how she performed and looks to continue the momentum after her great start to the season. 

“I feel like I exceeded my expectations,” Lorjuste said. “I went in there with the mindset to just go out there and run hard. I ended up running even faster than I thought I initially would so I felt great.”

With the season just starting up, Lorjuste has high hopes for herself and the team for this season.

“My personal goal for the season is to get over the fear of backing down,” Lorjuste said. “At the last meet, I didn’t back down and it led me to great success. As a whole for the team, I just want us to go out there and eat like we always do. We just got to stay fit after our great Winter training.”

As far as winning the NJAC Track and Field Athlete of the Week award, Lorjuste is very happy to win the award and get the recognition that she deserves. 

“It feels really good to get the recognition,” Lorjuste said. “A lot of people were happy for me and supportive. It just felt really good to get posted and have everyone support me the way they did.”

Lorjuste also finished first in the 4×400 relay along with Molly Lodge, Kat Pedersen, and Jasmine Broadway. 

Another standout performance was from senior thrower Izzy Deal. She placed first overall in the shot with a mark of 12.51m, and fourth overall in the weight throw with her new personal best mark of 13.96m. Thanks to those performances, she was named the NJAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week. Deal is satisfied overall with her performance, but still feels like she could’ve done better. 

“It feels good,” Deal said. “I still wish I did a little bit better because I was just a meter under my PR in the shot. I am still happy with my progression because a lot of my techniques have been changed, so to throw not feeling great using my techniques means that I have a lot more in store for the future.” 

Even with her strong performances, Deal never expected to be named the NJAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week.

“Winning the award felt amazing but unexpected,” Deal said. “I am still new to the conference so I wasn’t expecting to get it as a newer athlete but it was very exciting to see.” 

Deal sees herself having a big season as she has great goals for herself and the team. 

“I would like to come close to qualifying for the NCAA’s indoor shotput,” Deal said. “That has been my goal for a while now and reaching that would be great. Even just going to the meet and trying to be an All-American would be really cool. For the weight, I want to try to get into that 15-16 meter range. As a team, I just want us to all crush it at NJACs and have a bunch of qualifiers for NCAA. We have a lot of strong athletes and I think we can do it.”

Interim first-year head coach Liz Madden, who has also been the throws coach for the last four seasons, is very satisfied with the teams first performance and is optimistic for what’s to come this season. 

“I was really happy with our performance in this first meet,” Madden said. “The first meet is usually a shakeout meet and the girls have been putting in serious time in getting faster on the track and stronger in the weight room and it really showed in their performances. Seeing their faces light up and they’re work paying off was awesome to see.” 

Madden has very high hopes for the season and wants to lead them to as much success as possible. 

“It is my goal to get as many girls on the regionals and nationals teams as possible,” Madden said. “In terms of my throwers, I have three really strong heavy hitters Izzy, Lexi, and Grace. As long as they can stay healthy I think we’re going to make a strong run in NJACs and regionals.” 

This team has a lot of talent with a coach who is very passionate about making her athletes better and taking them as far as they can go. A lot of great things are in store for this team this season, and they look to continue their strong start when they return to Staten Island, NY for the St. Thomas Aquinas Invitational on Friday, Jan. 12.

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