The women’s track and field team has started the season red-hot, having phenomenal performances in San Diego over the break. It’s good to see the team already starting to come together so early in the season, as this very talented Profs squad looks to repeat as New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) champions. Head coach Derick Adamson thinks that the team’s start is the best he’s ever seen during his time at the university.
“Since I’ve been here, it’s the best start we’ve ever had,” Adamson said, describing a fourth-place finish at the PNLU Invitational.
A lot of Adamson’s heavy praise of the the first meet was centered on the athlete’s attitudes in Southern California.
“You figure, I’m all the way across the country with 29 girls, and there’s not one boo from one of them,” he continued. “They did what was asked of them everyday.”
Adamson thinks his team is so balanced that he found it too hard to even point out a particular area of strength on the team.
“It’s hard for me to pick one discipline that we are good at, because all around… they’re just so tough,” he said.
Looking at the track events, Rowan has a solid group of sprinters that can put up big points. Junior Darielle Cross was a national qualifier in the 100 meter dash last season, as was senior Aspen McMillan in the 110 meter hurdles. Both the 4×100 and 4×400 teams were national qualifiers as well. While Rowan keeps all of the members of the 4×100 meter relay team (McMillan, Cross, Sidney McLeod-Whitener, and Aaniyah Robinson) they only retain Myiah Sturdivant and Dominique Peters in the 4×400.
As for the field events, the Brown and Gold return two indoor national qualifying long jumpers in Michelle Macauley and Angel Rowe Jr.
If the PNLU Invitational is any indicator, Rowan can have great success in the throwing events this season. At the meet, Makayla Taylor finished second in the shot put, while Olivia Scattergood finished second in the hammer throw. Chelsea Smith also finished third in the discus throw.
While they seem to have the talent to win the NJAC once again, what really sets this team apart is its hard work and dedication. Adamson told one of his famed stories stories about an athlete who he really felt personified what this team is all about.
“I have to tell you this… there’s this girl on the team, [who in her freshman year] couldn’t make the team… but she just kept working. [In her] sophomore year, [she] just got in as a replacement,” He said. “[She] eventually ran a 25.96 at the 200. What she did, that’s insane… you just work and work.”
The athlete coach Adamson was referring to is junior sprinter Melina Johnson. The story of Melina Johnson, one of Rowan’s best runners especially in the 200, is one of hard work and dedication. Her story can be seen as a symbol of the season to come for the Profs – one that they hope will come with success taken in great strides.
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