press release March 29, 2012
The Rowan University men’s outdoor track and field team returns all of its national qualifiers from last year. Coach Bill Fritz is looking for them and more athletes to travel to Claremont, CA for the 2012 NCAA Division III Championships in May. Last season, the men tied for 12th in the team scoring among 82 schools at the national championships. The Profs took second at the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championships and they were tied for eighth at the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships.
The Profs’ 4x400 meter relay won the 2011 national title with a time of 3:11.45. The relay included Jayce Maxwell (sr. Toms River, NJ/Monsignor Donovan), Taylor Purdue (jr. Highland Lakes, NJ/Vernon Twp.), Ali Ejaz (jr. Glassboro, NJ/Glassboro) and Demetrius Rooks (jr. Galloway, NJ/Absegami). Rooks also earned All-America with a second place in the 400 meter hurdles (51.98). Steven Iafrate (so. Closter, NJ/Demarest) qualified for the NCAAs in the javelin. He finished ninth with a throw of 202’ 6” (61.72 meters).
“I am looking for the 4x400 to defend its national title,” stated Fritz. “Rooks’ time (400 meter hurdles) at Wake Forest should get him into the NCAAs. I am sure he will run faster. He is training hard and is consistent. The
4x400 qualified for the indoor nationals and finished third.”
Last year, the 4x400 meter relay took first place (3:15.14) at the NJAC Championships for All-Conference first team honors. Rowan qualified for the national championships with a time of 3:14.34, which was a second place at the ECAC Championships. At the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships, the 4x400 meter relay ran 3:19.20 and came in third for All-America honors.
Rooks was the conference’s 2011 Most Outstanding Male Athlete (outdoor track and field) and the 2012 Outstanding Track Athlete (indoor track). He was the NJAC outdoor champion in the 400 meter hurdles (52.63) and 400 meters (48.19). Rooks was named the conference’s Track Athlete of the Week five times. He started the outdoor schedule with a time of 52.99 in the 400 meter hurdles at the Wake Forest Open. The 4x400 meter relay ran 3:14.14 and took fifth place.
“Steven threw a career best to start the season,” Fritz said. “With that throw, he would have been an All-American last year. He takes it seriously and is definitely improving. He has the potential to break the school record.”
At the Wake Forest Open, Iafrate had a career best of 203’ 6” (62.03 meters). Last year, he qualified for the NCAA Championships with 200’ 11” (61.24 meters) at the Lions’ Invitational. Iafrate was selected the NJAC Rookie of the Week five times.
“We are putting together a 4x100 meter relay and they should be pretty good,” commented Fritz. “The team will be Brandon Taylor, Taylor Purdue, Jayce Maxwell and Ali Ejaz. The relay has tremendous acceleration and I am looking for big things out of them.”
Last year, Taylor (jr. Woodstown, NJ/Woodstown) ran the team’s top time in the 100 meters (11.00). He also had a season best of 23.25 in the 200 meters. Purdue produced an 11.69 in the 100 meters at the Rowan Open. Maxwell won the 200 meters (21.99) at the NJAC Championships for All-Conference first team honors. He was also second (49.00) in the 400 meters for a spot on the NJAC All-Conference second team. Ejaz’s best time in the 400 meters (51.62) came at the Rowan Open.
The sprinters also include veterans Marcus Rawls (so. North Brunswick, NJ/Florence Twp. Mem.) and Josh McGriff (jr. Flemington, NJ/Hunterdon Central Reg.) along with rookie Phil Guilford (fr. Atlantic City, NJ/Buena Reg.). Rawls’ top times last year in the 100 and 200 meters were 11.23 and 22.97 respectively. McGriff ran 11.80 in the 100 meters at the Rowan Open.
His best in the 400 meters was 51.73. Guilford’s indoor top times were 23.29 and 51.32 in the 200 and 400 meters respectively. At the Wake Forest Open, he ran in the 200 (23.17) and 400 (51.14) meters.
“Marcus has a fast start and needs to work on his finish,” commented Fritz. “Josh is coming on. Phil needs more races under his belt to get more race savvy. Ali can run the 100 and 200 but he won’t be in the 100 because of the relay.”
The Profs have strong middle distance runners with returnees Eric DuBois (sr. Pittsgrove, NJ/A.P. Schalick) and Mike Carotenuto (jr. Port Monmouth, NJ/Middletown N.). They are joined by newcomers Will Smith (fr. Cranford, NJ/Cranford), Mike Lewis (fr. Glen Mills, PA/Downingtown W.), Dave Quimby (fr. Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) and Jesse Spector (fr. Rockaway, NJ/Morris Hills). DuBois competed at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track Championships in the 5000 meters. He finished 12th with a time of 15:13.53. DuBois won the 5000 meters in 14:33.13 at the ECAC Championships. The converted time of 14:36.73 was his qualifying time for nationals. He was the conference champion (8:40.08) in the 3000 meters and was second in the mile (4:14.57). Last spring, DuBois had times of 2:03.71 in the 800 meters and 4:02.16 in the 1500 meters. He also ran the 5000 meters in 14:47.32. DuBois earned NJAC All-Conference second honors with a second place (15:42.41) in the 5000 meters at the conference championships.
Carotenuto produced the Profs’ top times in the 800 meters (1:58.83) and the 1500 meters (3:59.74). At the 2012 NJAC Indoor Championships, he took third (4:19.21) in the mile and received All-Conference honorable mention. He also had times of 1:58.59 and 2:32.51 in the 800 and 1000 meters respectively. In the fall, Carotenuto earned NJAC All-Conference second team honors in cross country. He finished 10th (26:35.63) at the conference championships. Smith missed the spring season in 2011 because of an injury. Lewis had season bests of 1:59.60 in the 800 meters and 2:39.32 in the 1000 meters during the indoor season. Spector’s top time in the 1000 meters was 2:44.09. At the Wake Forest Open, Lewis ran 2:00.56 and 4:12.01 in the 800 and 1500 meters respectively. Spector had a time of 4:13.42 in the 1500 meters.
“Eric and Mike will both run in the 800 and 1500 meters,” said Fritz. “Mike is the top middle distance runner. Eric has good range and can move up to the 5000 meters. The freshman trio (Lewis, Quimby and Spector) are going to score some points.”
Jake McCormack (sr. Cliffwood, NJ/Matawan Reg.), Rob Rawls (fr. Runnemede, NJ/Triton Reg.), Jon Sewnig (fr. Yardville, NJ/Notre Dame) and Rob Buzby (fr. Medford, NJ/Shawnee) will run in the long distance races. McCormack had a season best of 33.19.01 in the 10,000 meters for third place at the 2011 NJAC Championships. His top time in the 5000 meters indoors was 15:40.18. He was a member of the NJAC All-Conference second team in cross country. At the conference championships, McCormack finished eighth in 26:26.19. At the Wake Forest Open, McCormack had a time of 33:59.80 in the 10,000 meters. Rawls was the NJAC Cross Country Runner and Rookie of the Year. He was the NJAC champion with a time of 26:03.92. During the indoor season, Rawls ran 4:18.42 in the mile and 8:55.48 in the 3000 meters. Sewnig finished third (9:05.59) in the 3000 meters at the indoor conference championships. In the first outdoor meet, Rawls produced times of 3:58.86 and 8:46.33 in the 1500 and 3000 meters. Sewnig competed in the 5000 meters (15:52.65).
This season, Ethan Wolmark (so. Medford, NJ/Shawnee) and Mike Davies (fr. Jackson, NJ/Jackson Liberty) will compete in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Wolmark had a season best of 9:18.79 in the 3000 meters indoors and he ran 9:10.36 at Wake Forest. Adam Diekewicz is Rowan’s only pole vaulter. Last year, his best was 13’ 9.25” (4.20 meters). He had a top height of 14’ 9” (4.50 meters) indoors. Jerry Dalce (fr. Willingboro, NJ/Burlington County Institute of Technology) will be entered in the hurdles in his first year on the team. Frank Visconti will throw the shot put and the discus. In 2011, he had a best of 46’ 10.25” (14.28 meters) in the shot put at the conference championships. He finished third for NJAC All-Conference honorable mention. His top throw in the discus was 137’ 6” (41.92 meters). Visconti threw the shot put 45’ 10.5” (13.98) during the indoor season.
The returnees in the high jump are Joe Mineo (jr. Sewell, NJ/Washington Twp.) and McGriff. Mineo had a height of 6’ 5” (1.96 meters) at last year’s Wake Forest Open. He tied for second at the NJAC Championships with 6’ 0” (1.83 meters) and was a member of the All-Conference second team. His best indoors was 6’ 4” (1.93 meters). Last spring, McGriff’s top height was 6’ 1.25” (1.86 meters). Veteran Jack Curry (so. Roosevelt, NJ/Hightstown) is the team’s triple jumper. He had a best of 41’ 4.25” (12.60 meters) at the NJAC Indoor Championships. Last spring, Curry produced a season best leap of 18’ 1” (5.52 meters) in the long jump.
“We have a solid group this year,” Fritz stated. “In addition to last year’s qualifiers, I expect the 4x100 meter relay, Will Smith (1500 meters), Carotenuto (800 meters), DuBois (5000 meters/1500 meters) and Rawls (1500 meters/5000 meters) will go to nationals.”