Rutgers looks to build on results from Bulls Invitational at Colonial Relays
It should come as no surprise that Mike Mulqueen, the head coach of the Rutgers men’s track and field team, was more than pleased with his team’s result at the Bulls Invitational in Tampa, Florida, two weeks ago.
Multiple athletes won events, set personal records and recorded Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) qualifying times. For a team, doing well in an event goes a long way towards practicing toward subsequent events, and Mulqueen seems to agree.
“A great performance gives you more confidence going into your training the following week,” he said.
The Scarlet Knights will put this training to the test this upcoming weekend, when they travel to Williamsburg, Virginia, to participate in the Colonial Relays hosted by the College of William and Mary. Athletes also performed in different events than usual after the Tampa Invitational.
Senior sprinter Rajee Dunbar ran the 400 meter dash rather than his usual 100 and 200 events.
Jermaine Griffith, who ran a time of 46 seconds in the 400, ran the 200 and the 100.
And it’s not just individual athletes participating in different events.
Dunbar, who also competes in the 4x100 meter relay, said there will be shakeups in the team events as well.
“We’re doing a lot of relays on Saturday, so that should be fun to mix-and-match different teams together,” he said. “It should be a fun weekend for everyone to experiment in different events and run some quality relays.”
At the same time, performing well in a meet means that while there might be room for improvement, there isn’t much overall that needs to be changed.
Senior Joseph Velez, who won the hammer throw event in Tampa, said being consistent is important.
“We’ve been doing everything that we’re supposed to do,” he said of the team’s practice routine. “We’ve been working hard, staying focused and taking it day-by-day.”
Velez said he has been working on the technical side of his craft, such as working on his speed and plyometrics.
Dunbar also said he’s working towards improving in all events, even ones that he’s not participating in this weekend, as he hopes to improve his overall performance.
“I’ll be running the 200 and 100 next weekend, so I’m definitely looking to drop my times in both events. That’s what I’m focused on right now," he said. "I ran 21 (seconds) the first meet, and I never ran anything close to that all three years that I’ve been here, so I’m overly excited.”
Now after starting off the outdoor season with a bang, it’s time for the Knights to show other schools their Florida performances were no fluke, and they’re here to be a present all season long.
This next meet is the first step towards achieving that goal.
“We’re coming to win, to just go out and have fun with what we’re doing,” Dunbar said. “This is the first meet where we’re going to have a lot of our team here, so it’ll be a great showing to see everyone running … it’s going to be a very exciting meet.”
And if they can replicate the results of that first meet, then there’s no telling what they’re capable of doing in subsequent meets.
Dunbar couldn’t agree more.
“We definitely feel like we have no ceiling,” he said. “We’re nothing but motivated and ready to go and ecstatic about the next meets coming up.”
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