This weekend, the No. 8-ranked Rowan women’s track and field team travels to Moravian College for the Greyhound Invitational, another team-scoring meet early in the season. And for another week, the focus will not be on taking first place, but on individuals getting work in different events.
If the Profs happen to win team-scoring in the process, then “so be it,” said Head Coach Derick “Ringo” Adamson.
“I want times to drop, that’s what this is all about. I’m not going in there looking at winning the meet,” said Adamson, who has consistently held this philosophy so far this season. “Who cares whether we win Moravian or not? Let’s get good performances.”
Winning overall is not the intention of the head coach, but the team’s depth seems to keep them in contention — or better — meet after meet.
Currently, 18 members of the brown and gold have qualified for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships on May 18-19 in Westfield, Massachusetts.
Many are on the fringe of hitting the ECAC benchmarks. For others, focus is on lowering times to be among the best in the nation, already setting up for the NCAA Division III Championships at the end of May.
The same cannot be said for individuals on every team after just three meets.
“Our goals compared to some teams are way up there. We’re looking way down the road because really, they’re that good,” Adamson said.
Adamson expects a time cut from sophomore Claire Incantalupo in the 400-meter hurdles, where her best time of 1:05.22 is tied for 22nd in DIII. Nia Lawrence and Ebonique Jones, who sit seventh (12.38 seconds) and 12th (12.45 seconds) respectively in the ECAC’s 100 meter rankings, can both solidify top national marks.
Lawrence could also make up a leg for the Profs’ 4×100 relay in the championships, while Jones is strong in the 200 meter, according to Adamson.
For the majority of the 32 athletes making the trip, the Greyhound Invitational will mean unfamiliar situations and strength work. Come next week, everyone will be locked back in regular events for the two-day Morgan State Legacy Meet.
“This meet you’ll see a lot of girls not running in the events that they normally will run because I’m looking to use other events for a reason,” Adamson said.
Adamson knows his plan stands to benefit each athlete, but he deals with his fair share of athletes who fight him on having to take on a certain event.
Senior captain Shailah Williams has come to appreciate Adamson’s persistence in training. She was once the skeptical freshman who was not quick to make the extra effort.
“[As a freshman] nobody came to me and asked me, ‘You’re really good, what do you want for yourself out of this?’,” said Williams, who has top national 200 meter (24.62 seconds) and 400 meter (55.27 seconds) times. “I feel like as a captain, and as someone who’s been here, it is my job to push those who feel like they don’t have that much potential. It is kind of hard, you do fight with [Ringo] a little bit, but after they run what they say they can’t run, you put it in their heads that they can do it.”
To Adamson, it comes back to the commitment.
“If you really want to be good, the one thing I keep telling them is no talk. You have to convince yourself to like doing what your opponents don’t like to do,” Adamson said, “because guess what, they don’t like that same thing you don’t like. But if you do it and they’re not, watch how much better you get.”
4×400 meter relay – 1st place (3:56.37)
400 meter, junior Kelly Vogt – 4th place (1:00.18)
4×100 meter relay – 4th place (49.26)
3rd out of 8 teams
Sam Howell Invitational
800 meter, sophomore Brianna Angellella – 18th place (2:18.27)
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