Numerous members of Rowan men’s track and field post standout numbers at the Danny Curran Invitational

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Kwaku Nkrumah competes in the hurdle. The sophomore placed first in the 110m hurdles at the Danny Curran Invitational. - Photo via Rowan Athletics

Rowan men’s track and field showed out at the Danny Curran Invitational at Widener University on Friday, March 29, and Saturday, March 30, securing multiple top five and top ten marks nationwide across numerous events. Following the meet, the Profs are ranked second in the nation as a team behind only Pomona-Pitzer.

In the 110m hurdles, Kwaku Nkrumah (14.26) and Marquise Young (14.27) placed first and second with Anaias Hughes following up in fourth (14.77). Nkrumah’s mark elevated him to the second-best time in Division III this season, while Young moved into third and Hughes at 13. Young (52.92) also placed first in the 400m hurdles, with Nicholas Razze (53.51) not far behind in second. Evan Cochran (10.75) also took home a first-place finish in the 100m.

“We were real happy with the first outdoor meet for a lot of those guys,” head coach Dustin Dimit said. “Already hitting times that they didn’t hit until nationals or right before last year. Pretty excited to see such a good opener and some good weather for March, but not really good for the end of the year.”

Dimit certainly enjoys seeing a strong start, but he’s not surprised that his team is taking care of business. This squad is full of talent and determination, and their work in the offseason is showing up in the leaderboards immediately.

“All the people we expect to be national-level people had a good start for them,” Dimit said. “Some of them had great openers in the 100, the 110 hurdles, and the 400 hurdles. They were all things that we didn’t hit last year until at least two or three weeks down the line, and many that we didn’t see until about a month later. To see it that early is great, not surprising, but happy that it was there.”

Damitrius Hester led the way in the field events, with a throw ranked second in the nation at 63.71m in the javelin. His performance set a personal record for the second time in as many meets to start the season.

“I think it was amazing,” Hester said. “It’s my second time PRing in the year, this week and when we went down to Myrtle Beach that weekend in March. Last week was even better, I PR’d again and I plan on doing that again. I’m not competing this weekend I don’t think. I’ll take a rest week, but last week was amazing I keep planning on putting up PRs.”

Hester is just a freshman, but his performances show that he is ready for the challenge of moving from high school to college level. His improvement has not gone unnoticed, as his best performances have drastically improved from last year.

“We’re really happy with him,” Dimit said. “He already improved 22 feet from high school, so the work he put in in the fall and winter really stands out and shows that he’s really ready to do something big this year.”

To be up 22 feet in just a year says a lot about Hester’s training and his commitment to shining with the strong program that the Profs offer; there is no doubt that he will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come Rowan.

“I came from my school up in Mahwah in North Jersey finishing off with 188, so I was already up there, but I PR’d by 22 feet,” Hester said. “Really, it’s because of my coach, Ryan Gebhardt. He’s a really good coach, we practice, and we do what we need to do. We don’t throw too often, and we do a lot of strength training. His schedule and our training are perfect and it helps a lot.”

Hester’s strong start has allowed him to take home the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) field athlete of the week. You don’t see many freshmen take home high-prestige honors such as this one, but he doesn’t think this is the last time you’ll be seeing and hearing his name when mentioning the winners of the award.

“It’s crazy, I never thought I’d be able to get something like that,” Hester said. “I didn’t really know what it meant. I’m a freshman, I’m pretty new to this stuff, but it’s pretty cool. My family keeps congratulating me for all of it. I keep getting reposted and stuff like that, so I know it’s something pretty big to be honored for that accolade. I’ll carry that with me, but yeah, I plan on getting that again.”

The outdoor spring season has gotten off to an amazing start, and the Profs will look to continue their domination of whoever stands in their way at the METS Outdoor Championships at Icahn Stadium in New York on Saturday, April 6.

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