The Rowan University men’s outdoor track and field team looks to build upon last year’s success. The Profs took third place at the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championships and they were fourth at the Collegiate Track Conference (CTC) Championships. Three individuals qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships in the javelin and Rowan was tied for 17th place in the team scoring.
At the 2010 national championships, Sean Biehn and Sean Corey finished second and third respectively for All-America honors. Biehn had a throw of 204’ 5” (62.31 meters) and Corey’s toss was 204’ 1” (62.20 meters). It was the second All-America honor for Biehn who took fourth place at the 2009 NCAA Championships.
“We have the potential this season to outdo last year’s team in different events,” stated head coach Bill Fritz. “Our potential showed at the Wake Forest Open. We had individuals with NCAA provisionals in the javelin and 400 meter hurdles and several ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) Championships qualifiers.”
“Our strengths include Kyle Hayes and Mark Lisa in the long jump,” continued Fritz. “They are previous national qualifiers. The team has distance runner Eric DuBois who qualified for the NCAAs in cross country and Pierre James who had a NCAA provisional in the shot put for the indoor nationals. We have the addition of transfer All-American Demetrius Rooks.”
Last season, Hayes (sr. Pt. Pleasant, NJ/Pt. Pleasant Boro) missed nationals with a provisional of 23’ 2.75” (7.08 meters). He won the long jump at the Towson Invitational (21’ 10”, 6.65 meters) and the Rowan Open (23’, 7.01 meters). Hayes was named the NJAC Field Athlete of the Week twice. At the 2009 NCAA Championships, he was an All-American with a fourth place in the long jump (23’ 2.75”, 7.08 meters). He has qualified five times (two outdoors and three indoors) for the national championships. In 2010, Lisa (jr. Highland Lakes, NJ/Vernon Twp.) registered a NCAA provisional of 23’ 0.75” (7.03 meters). He won the conference championships with 23’ (7.01 meters) for NJAC All-Conference first team honors. Lisa finished second at the Towson Invitational (20’ 11.75”, 6.39 meters), Rowan Open (22’ 6.5”, 6.87 meters) and Lions’ Last Chance Meet (22’ 7.25”, 6.89 meters). He competed at the 2009 nationals and missed advancing to the final with a jump of 22’ 3.75” (6.80 meters) in the prelims. At the 2011 NJAC Indoor Championships, Hayes was first with 22’ 7.25” (6.89 meters) followed by Lisa second (22’ 6.25”, 6.87 meters).
DuBois (jr. Pittsgrove, NJ/A.P. Schalick) will concentrate on the 5,000 meters but will also run the 800 and 1500 meters. Last year, he had career bests in the 800 (Towson Invitational) and 1500 (Swarthmore Last Chance Meet) meters of 2:03.52 and 3:59.66 respectively. DuBois finished the 5000 meters in 15:15.03 at the Lions’ Invitational. During the indoor season, he ran the 5000 meters in 14:47.00 at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational. He earned NJAC All-Conference second team honors with a second place (14:54.70) in the 5000 meters at the conference championships. At the 2010 NCAA Cross Country Championships, DuBois finished 45thoverall with a time of 25:06.7. He came in 15th (25:19.5) at the NCAA Atlantic Regional and took second (25:40.37) at the NJAC Championships.
James (so. Somerset, NJ/Franklin) had a NCAA indoor provisional of 52’ 10.75” (16.12 meters) in the shot put. His throw came at the NJAC Championships where he won the shot put and earned All-Conference first team honors. In 2010, he took second place at the NJAC Outdoor Championships and was on the All-Conference second team. James had a distance of 48’ 9” (14.86 meters). In addition, he came in third with 47’ 7.75” (14.52 meters) at the Lions’ Invitational. James took fourth (47’ 1”, 14.35 meters) at the Rowan Open and fifth (48’ 1.75”, 14.67 meters) at the CTC Championships.
Rooks (so. Galloway, NJ/Absegami) transferred from Richard Stockton College. Last year, he was the NJAC outdoor champion in the 400 meters (49.11) and 400 meter hurdles (53.34). He qualified for the NCAAs in both events. In the 400 meter hurdles, Rooks came in sixth at the NCAAs with a time of 52.89 for All-America honors. During the indoor season, Rooks took second (49.56) in the 400 meters at the NJAC Championships. At the 2011 Wake Forest Open, he had a fourth place (53.04) in the 400 meter hurdles and his time was a NCAA provisional (54.30).
The Profs have a strong nucleus in the sprints with returnees Josh McGriff (so. Flemington, NJ/Hunterdon Central Reg.), Taylor Purdue (so. Highland Lakes, NJ/Vernon Twp.), Brandon Taylor (so. Woodstown, NJ/Woodstown) and Jayce Maxwell (jr. Toms River, NJ/monsignor Donovan).
The newcomers include Brian Oni (fr. Kendall Park, NJ/South Brunswick), Marcus Rawls (fr. North Brunswick, NJ/Florence Twp. Mem.) and Marcus Lee (jr. Vineland, NJ/Vineland). In 2010, McGriff registered season bests of 23.27 in the 200 meters and 52.17 in the 400 meters. Purdue’s top times in the 200 and 400 meters were 23.55 and 50.63 respectively. Taylor ran the 100 meters in 11.14 and the 200 meters in 22.85. He received NJAC All-Conference honorable mention in the 55 meters (6.66) with a third place at the 2011 indoor championships. Maxwell started the season with career bests in the 200 (22.45) and 400 (49.98) meters at the Wake Forest Open.
“Demetrius has a lot of talent and is very competitive,” commented Fritz. “We have a ton of people to work with. The veterans are Josh, Taylor and Brandon. Marcus Rawls has potential and Marcus Lee needs to get himself going. Brian Oni was a qualifier in the 100 and 200 for the Meet of Champions in high school. The 4x100 meter relay will be very competitive with the pool of runners that we have.”
“We have six to seven sprinters that can step in and contribute on the 4x100.” Fritz continued. “They had a nice start at Wake Forest. We need to get the right combination for us to do real well. The 4x400 has two national qualifiers in the 400 meter hurdles on it. Ali Ejaz will lead off and Rooks will anchor. We have a good start and finish. Maxwell will run the second leg. He is smart and experienced to handle the first exchange and stay in the lane on the third corner. Purdue is the final runner for the relay. He has a good strong finish and runs very well.”
The middle distance runners consist of Brian Makinson (sr. Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson), Ryan Hoxworth (jr. Vineland, NJ/home schooled), Will Smith (fr. Cranford, NJ/Cranford), Brian O’Connor (fr. Keansburg, NJ/St. John Vianney) and Ethan Wolmark (fr. Medford, NJ/Shawnee). Makinson’s career top time in the 400 meters is 51.29 at the 2009 Rowan Open. He ran a season best of 52.96 last year at the Wake Forest Open. Makinson also competes in the high jump. This is the first outdoor track season for Hoxworth, Smith and Wolmark after running cross country. O’Connor will compete in the 400 and 800 meters. At the NJAC Indoor Championships, Smith came in second (4:21.66) in the mile and received All-Conference second team honors.
DuBois is joined in the distance events by Brian Quilty (sr. Brick, NJ/Saint Rose), Jeff Terebey (sr. Shamong, NJ/Seneca), Jake McCormack (jr. Cliffwood, NJ/Matawan Reg.), Stephen Hoffman (jr. Ocean City, NJ/Ocean City), and Mike Caroteuntuo (so. Port Monmouth, NJ/Middletown N.) and Stephen Mennitt (so. Edison, NJ/Edison). Last year, Quilty registered career bests in the 800 (2:09.80) and 1500 (4:18.90) meters at the Lions’ Invitational. He also had times of 15:52.87 in the 5000 meters (Wake Forest Open) and 33:49.56 in the 10,000 (CTC Championships). His career best in the 10,000 is 33:38.42 from the 2009 NJAC Championships. At the 2010 Lions’ Invitational, Terebey ran career times in the 800 (2:05.52) and 1500 (4:09.78) meters. He has his best time of 33:24.11 in the 10,000 meters at the Wake Forest Open.
In 2010, McCormack ran a career top time of 4:14.68 in the 1500 meters at the Wake Forest Open. He finished the 5000 meters in 15:34.59 at the Penn Invitational. Hoffman started the season with a time of 9:17.29 in the 3000 meters at Wake Forest. At the 2011 NJAC Indoor Championships, Carotenuto finished third (1:58.25) in the 800 meters for All-Conference honorable mention. He ran the mile in 4:22.64 at the Armory Collegiate Championships and qualified for the ECAC Indoor Championships. Last year, Mennitt earned NJAC All-Conference honorable mention in the 10,000 meters. He finished third at the conference championships in 34:10.03. At the 2010 Wake Forest Open, Mennitt competed in the 1500 (4:21.82) and 5000 (16:20.46) meters.
Veteran Benjamin Bradley (sr. Parsippany, NJ/Parsippany Hills) and Ali Ejaz (so. Glassboro, NJ/Glassboro) will compete in the hurdles with Rooks. Last season, Bradley had season top times of 16.51 and 57.47 in the 110 and 400 meter hurdles respectively. In 2009, he had career bests of 16:05 in the 110 meter hurdles and 56.59 in the 400 meter hurdles at the NJAC Championships. Ejaz is a transfer from Gloucester County College where he finished third in the nation in the 400 meter hurdles at the 2010 NJCAA Division III Championships.
The high jumpers include Joe (Giuseppe) Mineo (so. Sewell, NJ/Washington Twp.), Josh McGriff (so. Flemington, NJ/Hunterdon Central Reg.) and Makinson. At the 2011 Wake Forest Open, Mineo won the high jump B with a height of 6’ 5” (1.96 meters) which was a career best. He also runs the 800 meters and had a time of 2:06.68 during the indoor season. Last season, Mineo had a time of 2:08.97 in the 800 meters at the Lions’ Invitational. At the 2011 NJAC Indoor Championships, he was fifth with a jump of 6’2” (1.88 meters). McGriff tied for fifth in the high jump B with 6’ 1.25 (1.86 meters) at this year’s Wake Forest Open. Prior, he jumped 5’ 8” (1.73 meters) at the 2010 Rowan Open. At the Frank Colden Invitational, Makinson had a height of 6’ 2” (1.88 meters) in the high jump.
The returnees in the javelin are Dan Lisa (so. Highland Lakes, NJ/Vernon Twp.) and Joe Carmichael (fr. Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken) and they are joined by freshman Steven Iafrate (fr. Closter, NJ/Demrest). Lisa was named the 2010 NJAC Rookie of the Year. At the conference championships, he took fourth in the javelin with a throw of 199’ 1” (60.68 meters) that was a NCAA provisional. Carmichael’s best toss was 183’ 1” (55.81 meters) last season at the Penn Invitational. He will also throw the shot put. During the indoor season, Carmichael had a second place in the shot put with 46’ 7.25” (14.20 meters) at the Collegeville Open. At the 2011 Wake Forest Open, Iafrate had a throw of 197’ 6” (60.21 meters) for ninth place. He recorded a NCAA provisional (193’ 3”, 58.90 meters) and an ECAC qualifier (179’ 1”, 54.60 meters).
In the shot put, Rowan has Frank Visconti (so. Berlin, NJ/Eastern Reg.) and Dhamiri Wilson (so. Camden, NJ/Camden). Visconti registered second places during the indoor season at the Thomson Invitational (46’ 4.75”, 14.14 meters) and the Frank Colden Invitational (45’ 1.75”, 13.76 meters). Wilson came in fourth (40’, 12.19 meters) at the Frank Colden Invitational. James and Visconti will also compete in the discus. Last year, James won the discus at the CTC Championships with 140’ 11” (42.95 meters). Visconti threw 126’ 5” (38.53 meters) at the Wake Forest Open.
Rowan’s lone pole vaulter is veteran Adam Diekewicz (jr. Glassboro, NJ/Glassboro). His career best is 13’ 5.25” (4.10 meters) at the CTC Indoor Championships and the 2010 Lions’ Invitational. Andy Charles (fr. Newark, NJ/Atlantic City) is the newcomer in the long jump. During the indoor season, Charles’ best jump was 20’ 7.75” (6.29 meters) at the NYC Gotham Cup. John Grinnell (so. Farmingdale, NJ/Howell) competes in the hammer. During the indoor season, he broke the school record in the weight throw at the NYC Gotham Cup. Grinnell had a toss of 47’ 6.5” (14.49 meters).
“We should have several individuals and two relays qualify for nationals,” said Fritz. “Our emphasis is on the two national relays. In the long jump and short sprints we need to have proper wind readings.”
Next week, the Profs host their annual Rowan Open on Friday, April 8 starting at 2 p.m. The NJAC Championships will be held for the first time at Ramapo College on Saturday, May 7. The 2011 ECAC Championships are at Moravian College on Thursday and Friday, May 19 and 20. The NCAA Division III Championships are scheduled for Thursday-Saturday, May 26-28 at Ohio Wesleyan College in Delaware, OH.