by RIKKILYNN SHIELDS, Assistant Editor
Starting up the second semester after a long winter break is never easy.
However, moving in early, training hard every day, and competing over the break is what being an athlete is all about. While all of the NARP’S (Non-athletic Regular People) were at home spending time with friends and family, some of Manhattan College’s athletes moved in weeks ago, and spent their time working, with no time for play.
The men’s basketball team played a number of games over winter intersession. Perhaps the highlight of the break for the team was this past Thursday, when the men played aggressive and defeated Monmouth University with a score of 78-71. The game drew a huge crowd, and the Manhattan College students weren’t the only ones that were a part of the audience. The game was shown on ESPN3 as well.
The men’s basketball team’s record stands at 8-10, with six of their eight wins having come during the intersession. The team has won five of its last seven, and five of its last six home games. The team returns home on Feb. 2 to take on Rider University.
With a loss against American University and another loss against Iona after a 12-day break, the women’s basketball team came back with a win over Fairfield University, with a score of 77-55. The last time Manhattan beat Fairfield before this game was on Feb. 25, 2011. The next three games against Siena, Marist, and Fairfield resulted in losses for the women’s team, however, it came back with two wins against Iona, 63-56, and Saint Peter’s, 64-47. Against Saint Peter’s, Amani Tatum recorded 11 steals, one shy of the MAAC record. The women will play their next game at Monmouth on Feb. 2.
Manhattan College’s Winter Track and Field team moved in in early January, with just enough time to prepare for two meets it would be competing in. The hard work showed when the Jaspers competed for the first time in over a month, at the Spartan Regional Invitational meet at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, NY., on Jan. 15.
The highlights of the meet included Blerim Pocesta, who set an Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex facility record in the men’s weight throw. Bobby Gebhard came in second place in long jump, jumping 7.03m, qualifying him for the IC4A Championships.
For the women, Jasmine Davis ran a 25.44 second 200m. Ellinor Persson took second in the 60m hurdles and first in the long jump, and Marissa Robbins cleared 11’8 in pole vault, securing her spot in first place.
Manhattan’s relay teams also showed no mercy at this meet. The men took first place in the 4x200m, 4x400m, and the distance medley relays. The Jasper women also took first and second place in the distance medley relays, second place in the 4x400m relay, and third in the 4x800m relay. The Jaspers won 11 events at the Spartan Regional Invitational and three of the team members were named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Performers of the Week. John Dove was selected for his performance on the track, Blerim Pocesta for his performance on the field, and Marissa Robbins was named Women’s Field Performer of the Week.
This past weekend at the New York City Gotham Cup, Manhattan’s track and field team had a decent showing. Marissa Robbin’s took first place in pole vault. On the track, Kelly Gorman grabbed third place in the 4x800m relay along with Erin Spadaccini, Alexa Roda, and Kaitlyn Smith. For the men’s team, Amir Khagani took second place in the 5000m run, and Tom Dilberto finished fourth in the 3000m run.
Manhattan was supposed to host the Brother Jasper Invitational at Draddy Gymnasium this past Saturday, however, due to the harsh weather conditions, the meet was canceled and with no plans to be rescheduled. The women will compete this weekend in Boston at the John Thomas Terrier Classic.
Off the court and the field, Noah LeFevre moved on from his position as athletic director, and Manhattan College welcomed Tom O’Connor as the new interim athletic director. Manhattan College will search for a new athletic director during O’Connor’s tenure, but do not have a timetable to hire someone.
With some changes and the hard work put in by the athletes over winter break, Manhattan College is ready to start the year off well.