By Mark Barroso
The College’s men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams won their 14th straight NJAC Championships on Sunday, Feb. 21.
The Lion men finished with 234.5 team points, while second place Rowan University scored 129 points. The women’s team finished with 202.5 points, and Ramapo College scored 164.5 points to finish in second place.
“Ramapo was the next strongest team,” head coach Phillip Jennings said. “We welcome the competition because it helps us stay focused.”
Over the years, the competition has not gotten any easier, but the Lions have just kept working.
“The NJACs have gotten more competitive since I have been here,” senior Alexandra Tomaselli said. “It’s good that we get to compete on a really good track because the NJACs have not always been there.”
The women’s team set two NJAC Championship meet records. Senior Meryl Wimberly’s NJAC record time of 2:11.74 in the 800-meters met NCAA automatic qualifying standards. Freshman Anginelle Alabanza and juniors Alyssa Bannon, Katie Nestor and Cassandra Valdes won the 4×800 meter relay with a championship record time of 9:39.43.
Senior Miriam Khan won two events, posting times of 24.72 seconds in the 200-meter and 7.26 seconds in the 55-meter dash. Junior Danielle Aran took home first place in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:46. Tomaselli teamed up with Wimberly, classmate Rochelle Prevard and freshman Emily Kulcyk to take second in the 4×400 meter with a time of 3:57.91, which gave the Lions eight points.
The men’s team had eight first-place finishers, including junior Christopher Medina who won two events. He won the 55-meter dash with an NCAA provisional time of 6.47 seconds and the 200-meter with an ECAC qualifying time of 22.22 seconds.
Senior Kyle Gilroy, a three-time NJAC Track Athlete of the Week recipient, won the 400-meter with a NCAA provisional time of 49.14 seconds. Classmate Dennie Waite is still the champion in the mile after posting an ECAC time of 4:17.52 while classmate Rob Nihen won the 3,000-meter in 8:54.53.
Success for the Lions had a formula. The Lions training regiment was altered in the week leading up to the Cchampionship.
“The workouts are shorter but it is not a complete rest week,” Tomaselli said. “At this point it’s about maintaining what we have.”
The Lions head back to the 168th St. Armory in New York City on Friday to compete in the Armory Collegiate Challenge.
“It’s (the challenge) for people who are trying to make ECACs and nationals,” Jennings said. “We’re looking for people to qualify and improve.”