By George Tatoris
Two schools, one facility, one event.
Held annually for nearly 10 years now, the men’s and women’s track teams have squared off against Division I Rider Broncs in a dual meet, where only two schools compete — the only meet of its kind run during the winter season.
“It’s so important because both (the College) and Rider practice at Lawrenceville,” said senior thrower Joan Hales, who has been boasting an impressive season. “It’s our battle for our home turf.”
This year, the Broncs swept the Lions, besting the women 97-68 and the men 104-63. But the day was not totally lost as the steep competition and rivalry seemed to bring out the best in many a Lion at Lawrenceville on Friday, Feb. 6.
Hales toppled her competition — and her own personal record — in both weight throw and shot put events, landing a distance of 15.40 meters in the weight throw for a second-place finish and a distance of 11.00 meters in the shot put.
Fellow senior Michelle Cascio saddled a win for the Lions in the 200 meter dash, sporting a final time of 25.98 seconds and a second-place finish in the 55 meter dash, crossing the line at 7.26 seconds.
Seniors Katelyn Ary and Joy Spriggs topped the 400 meter in tandem — Ary in first with a time of 58.77 seconds and Spriggs in second with a time of 59.94 seconds.
Cascio, Ary, Spriggs and freshman Emily Mead beat Rider’s quartet in the 4×400 relay, pulling a combined time of 3:58.29.
Another top finish came from junior Courtney Paciulli, who leaped into first in the triple jump with a distance of 11.30 meters, overcoming the ECAC standard by almost half a meter.
On the men’s team, sophomore Brandon Mazzarella beat his Rider competition by nearly two seconds in the 800 meters with a final time of 1:54.68, and fellow sophomore Zach Hubner proved fastest in the 200 meters with a finish of 22.98 seconds.
Mazzarella, along with freshman Daniel Lynch, sophomore Ed Bohi and senior Erik Moutenot, beat Rider’s foursome in the 4×800 relay for a combined time of 8:04.48. A second College quartet comprised of junior Jon Stouber, seniors Andrew Wilson and Patrick Waite and sophomore Andrew Tedeschi took second through fifth in the 3000 meters respectively.
Lions coach Justin Lindsey has had a long history with this meet. The tradition started when he was coaching at Rider, his alma mater, and he pushed to have it continued when he started coaching at the College. Despite his history with the Broncs, however, he assured The Signal that “It’s Lions’ Nation all the way!”
Overall, the Lions netted over 20 personal records, eight ECAC qualifying marks and three NCAA qualifying marks at the meet, according to Lindsey, which isn’t bad for having lost.
“This team is very special — they compete with a tremendous amount of heart and support each other, and it showed last night,” Lindsey said. “With this continued energy, we will be ready for the conference, ECAC and NCAA Championships.”