Rowan men’s indoor track and field ends the season with first place finish at the AARTFC

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Kwaku Nkrumah runs in a race. Nkrumah recorded a first place finish in the 60 meter hurdle. - Photo via Rowan Athletics

Rowan men’s indoor track and field finished its season as a team in a stunning manner, taking home first place in the All-Atlantic Region Track and Field Conference Championship (AARTFC) over the weekend.   

The championship meet at Nazareth University in Rochester, NY was highlighted by the Profs, who nearly doubled the second place SUNY-Geneseo, who finished with 54 points. Showing out again was the 60-meter hurdle group, with the top three finishers, Kwaku Nkrumah (8.01), Marquise Young (8.07), and Jason Agyemang (8.08) coming from Rowan.

“It just shows the hard work the guys put in and the depth we have,” Head Coach Dustin Dimit said. “We don’t have to have some of our top people run, and we can still win by a decent amount in a championship like that. It shows the hard work of everybody, not just the guys that are going on to nationals, but also the guys that are just missing.”

As Dimit alluded to, the strength of this Rowan team is their depth, and it has led them to dominate across the board this season, regardless of who is competing in a specific event. With the depth the Profs have, they’ve been able to rest guys who have qualified for nationals or have them participate in fewer events and still be able to pull out huge victories like the regional championship.  

“I think we’re at a point that we expect it even when we’re not trying to,” Dimit said. “We know, like we scored in almost every event, so somebody is going to step up even if we don’t have people running or someone has a bad day. It’s great to have that depth and that reliance on your teammates, it’s somebody who always has your back. We have that kind of cushion where we can go out and do that and still be comfortable resting guys for nationals.”

Having each other’s backs has been a theme that the coaching staff and leaders on the team have been following since they started training at the beginning of the fall semester. Being able to follow through with that has led the Profs to send seven athletes to the NCAA Division III Championships, four of whom are in the 60-meter hurdle group.  

“My first two years I was by myself at nationals,” Marquise Young said.  “So, I emphasized that a lot at the beginning of the season that I wanted to have more people with me at nationals, so it’s really good to have three with me running.”

This will be Young’s third appearance at nationals as a Prof. This year, however, he will have Kwaku Nkrumah, Jacob Kiyler, and Jason Agyemang joining him in the 60-meter hurdles. Amara Conte will race in the 400 meters for the third-straight season, while the freshman Damarion Potts is selected in the high jump and long jump. Nana Agyemang will participate in the long jump alongside Potts. Conte, Young, and the Agyemang brothers will make up the 4×400-meter relay.  

“We’re definitely ready to go in and do something big,” Dimit said. “We’re hoping for the top four, and then you never know what happens if you’re in the top four, you can finish higher. There are two teams that are very good and will be hard to beat, but you never know what happens there, that’s why we run the meet. I think we were eighth last week in the rankings and we might move up one or two spots this week in the national rankings. A top ten finish would be great and a top-four finish would be even better.”

Young is ready to show that it is his turn to shine at nationals, and he’s been spending time getting his mind and body right for the task.  

“I’m locked in. Mentally and physically I’m locked in,” Young said. “I kind of had a little mental drought from running a little bit slower than I usually do, but I’m back where I need to be so I’m a lot more confident mentally and physically.”

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