By Logan VanDine
IN its first outdoor home meet since sweeping the indoor Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships, Rider track and field dominated, taking first place overall in both the men’s and women’s meets in the Rider 5 Way against Sacred Heart, Fairleigh Dickinson, Fordham and Saint Joseph’s on March 26.
“We had a really good meet today,” said Head Coach Bob Hamer in an email to The Rider News. “There was a lot of great effort, event winners and other qualifying performances.”
Boyer shines again
On the men’s side of the meet, perhaps the two most impressive performances were by graduate student sprinter Jerome Boyer and senior hurdler Marques Merriweather with first-place finishes helping the men propel to 373 points for their squad.
As for the aforementioned Boyer, he put together two solid outings in the 100-meter and 200-meter, which helped him get gold for both categories. In the 100-meter, Boyer ran a new personal best of 10.88 seconds, which shattered his record from a year ago at 11.03. In the 200-meter, he finished first with a time of 22.13.
“He looked really good today, and we are very excited for a great outdoor season,” Hamer said.
Boyer described how satisfied he was with the effort he put in that helped his team get to first place.
“I would say I was very happy with my performances overall as a whole. Winning the two events and the relay early this season really builds my confidence and motivation to keep striving to accomplish my goals I have for my last season of track,” Boyer said.
Thunig sets historic landmark
On the women’s side, the Broncs found the same success as the men’s team did, placing first overall with a team total of 369 points.
The meet was highlighted by a Rider record-breaking performance by sophomore Rasia Thunig who set a new record in the long jump, which Asia Young originally set in 2017. Thunig jumped 6.13 meters, marking the first time in Broncs’ history a woman has hit a mark over 20 feet.
“Raisa was outstanding in the long jump. That is a huge jump. It’s always exciting to watch someone break a Rider record, and it is also a likely NCAA Preliminary qualifier. She has grown a ton this year, and it has been fun to watch. This is a huge confidence builder moving forward,” Hamer said.
Thunig was not done there as she, along with her teammates, sophomores Mariah Stephens, Hailey Palmer and freshman Valencia Gosser, dominated in the 4×100 meter relay, taking first place in that category with a time of 47.23 and placing them in third for Rider’s all-time record.
“I think coming off winning indoor MAAC [Championships] we were ready to kick off the outdoor season,” Stephens said. “From setting new school records, coming back from injuries and setting new personal bests, I think that today everyone brought their A-game.”
Stephens talked about her strong performance in her races along with her team’s overall showing.
“I was very happy to win the 100-meter hurdles and triple jump and be a part of the winning 4×100,” said Stephens. “It felt great to run a relay where my teammates and I have been working so hard.”
Next up for the Broncs will be the Colonial Relays which are set to take place from March 30 to April 1 in Williamsburg, Virginia.