Rowan men’s indoor track and field enters unprecedented territory following ninth consecutive NJAC title

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Rowan men's indoor track and field poses after their ninth consecutive NJAC Championship victory. - Photo via Rowan Athletics

Rowan men’s track and field has claimed the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship for the ninth consecutive indoor season.

They won the meet in dominant fashion on Monday, Feb. 19 at the Ocean Breeze Complex in Staten Island. In addition, the Profs set the all-time record for team points in an NJAC Championship event at 297.

This was a supreme performance, and Rowan proved they had no serious competition within the conference this season.

“We’re really excited,” Head Coach Dustin Dimit said. “I think the guys really came and performed. We scored more than we were projected to score after the entries, so that shows everybody stepping up despite some people being sick, an injury, and a couple of other things that weren’t great. For the most part, it was just a fantastic meet.”

There certainly is a lot to be excited about, as this Profs team continues to shine and show that they are a legit national presence. With nine first-place finishes across the events and multiple records set, Rowan is firing on all cylinders at the perfect time; right in the thick of championship season.

“At this point, winning NJACs is just something that we do,” senior Amara Conte said. “I’m just glad to see everybody showing up, not being cocky and just running their races and focusing on themselves. This was my last NJAC Championship, so it was an honor. The four years I spent here, you know, we had the streak and I’m glad that we kept in until my last one.”

Conte was one of nine first-place finishers at the title meet, as he won the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.54 seconds. Joining him in first-place finishes was Kwaku Nkrumah in the 60-meter hurdle, marking 7.93 seconds, breaking a school record recently set this season by Marquise Young, while also sliding into ninth place in Division III history for the event. Damarion Potts took home the top spot in the high jump at 2.04 meters. Nana Agyemang captured the long jump for the second straight year at 6.95 meters. Joshua Cason won the 3000-meter run at 8:45.25. Scott Hubbard was victorious in the 800-meter run and set his indoor and outdoor personal record at 1:53.78. Shane Vostenak stood out at the top in the 5000-meter run at 15:02.23. On top of overwhelming individual success, the 4×200 and 4×400 meter relay teams both placed first.

“My time wasn’t what we wanted,” Conte said. “But I had to accept the fact that I was sick and all that, while still training and competing a couple of days after I started feeling a little better. It really affects how you run, with breathing and stuff like that. I learned to accept what I ran, and that I still have a ways until nationals, and I have time to improve while my body is returning to its healthier phase. It’s just a little bump, but we’re making it through.”

Even though the Profs were widely expected to win the meet, they still showed up with the right attitude and did better than anyone could’ve expected. The NJAC Championship is a yearly win at this point for Rowan and even though that is always the expectation at the start of the season, it still feels sweet when it comes to fruition.

“I’m really proud of them,” Dimit said. “We started in September, so to get to this point, it was a lot of effort. A lot of hard work and sacrifice for those guys to do that. It’s expected of us, but they still went out and did it, and in a spectacular fashion. Not just with the points, but also with some of the times and the marks that they put down.”

The Profs will attend the Last Chance meet at the Ocean Breeze Complex in Staten Island on Friday, Feb. 23, but there will likely be a lot of runners getting a chance to rest by not participating as we move closer to nationals.

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