The Rowan College at Gloucester County Men’s Track and Field team captured the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III National Championship title for the second season in a row at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York on Saturday, May 11.
The Roadrunners, coached by Ryan Hughes, won the school’s third national title since 2014. Hughes was also honored as the National Men’s Coach of the Meet. The team championship was the 30 junior college national title won in all sports at RCGC, formerly Gloucester County College, in school history.
Winning individual national titles and earning All-American honors for the RCGC men’s team were:
Sophomore Adam Hunt, second place in the hammer and shot put, Sophomore Edgar Rosa, men’s javelin, Sophomore Mike Dowd, men’s 3000-meter steeplechase, Freshman Josh Varghese, shot put, Sophomore Glenn Abbott, 110 high hurdles
In the women’s competition, sophomore standout All-American Elisia Lancaster capped her superb career by winning three individual national titles in the hammer throw, shot put and discus.
The Roadrunner men’s team was ranked fifth in the nation among junior colleges by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association entering the meet.
“It feels great, especially when it was unexpected,” said Coach Hughes after the meet. “Honestly, I was a little nervous this year — last year we were first in the rankings all year so we came in looking to prove we deserved it. This year we were fifth and not really expected to win it — but we were still confident and we got the job done.”
Hughes added, “It was a complete team effort, with athletes from each discipline performing beyond our expectations. Throws coach Joseph Kalnas was invaluable, as we won national titles in six out of eight throwing events and an All-American in seven out of the eight. Sprints/Hurdles coach Mark Getsinger helped his athletes soar above their rankings to shock the country with the hurdle win and several third place finishes from athletes ranked in the teens going into the meet.”
The Roadrunners clinched the crown in the day’s final event when Dowd and teammate Noah Cziryak finished fourth and 8th respectively in the 5000 meters.
Earlier in the day, RCGC emerged with two new national champions. Varghese, Hunt and Awogbamilia swept the top three spots in the shot put with Varghese grabbing the national title. In the 110 hurdles, Abbott won his second career national title.
One of the heroes of the meet proved to be former Paulsboro High standout athlete Edgar Rosa, who captured the men’s javelin despite a sprained ankle. He also scored team points in the discus event despite the injury.
In the women’s team race, the Roadrunners placed fourth overall with 101 points, with Suffolk County taking the team crown. Sophomore Elisia Lancaster, who won three individual national titles in 2018, repeated those titles this spring to cap off her great career. The former Delsea High standout captured the NJCAA championship in the hammer with a new national record of 52.10m. Emily Hilt also earned All-American with a second-place finish in both the hammer and shot put.
“The performance of the entire team was remarkable,” said Executive Director of Athletics Brian Rowan. “I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled the entire athletic department and administration is with this team’s efforts. Once again, all of our athletes and our entire coaching staff showed true character and Roadrunner pride.”
For more information about Roadrunner sports, visit www.rcroadrunners.com.