Retrievers Seek Titles at America East Outdoor Championships
BALTIMORE – Following a record-setting outdoor invitational season which included eight new school records and the team hosting its first meet in ten years, the UMBC track and field teams head to Upstate New York this weekend for the America East Championships. The two-day meet, which will be hosted at Binghamton University's East Gym Complex, will begin on Saturday, May 4 at 10:00 a.m. with the men's decathlon.
At the indoor championships in February, the Retriever women earned their best-ever showing in an America East meet, taking second-place overall behind sophomore Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) and senior Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) who earned the conference's top individual awards.
These two standouts have continued to shine in the outdoor season with Jackson taking the lead on the track, breaking her school records in the 100m (11.57) and 200m (23.60) dash events. The sprinter leads the conference in both events while ranking tied for 21st in the 100 and tied for 22nd in the 200 in the NCAA East Region.
Jackson will be joined in both races by freshman D'Nique Phillip (Elkton, Md.) who sits in eighth in the 100m (12.19) and third in the 200m (24.51). Meanwhile, junior Kirsten Jones (Brentwood, Tenn./M.L.K. Magnet) will compete in the 200m as well as the 400m events which she enters seeded in the top-four.
School record-holder Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara) leads the Retrievers in the 400m hurdles. After resetting her school-best time at the Duke Invitational on Apr. 5, she did it again the very next week at George Mason to lower it to 1:01.59, the third-fastest time in the conference. Junior Mary Katherine Kulp (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal), a newcomer to the event earlier in the year, recorded the fourth-fastest time in school history (1:04.21) at the Duke meet and comes into the weekend with the sixth-best time in the league.
Already a three-time champion in the outdoor shot put, and a seven-time champion in all America East meets, Deller enters the weekend with the top toss in the conference this spring. Despite missing a few weeks, the senior recorded season-bests each of the last two weekends, posting a throw of 14.18m (46'6.25) at the Penn Relays in her last competition. Deller will also compete in the discus and hammer at Binghamton and has recorded the fourth-best throw in the America East in each competition this spring.
For the men, sprinter Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) has continued his torrid pace outside to lead the Retrievers who are ranked 12th in the Mid-Atlantic region. After sweeping the 60m and 200m events at the indoor championships and earning Most Outstanding Male Track Athlete accoldaes, Long leads the league in the 100m (10.39) and ranks second in the 200m (21.14), qualifying for the IC4A meet in both events. Freshman Jenove Blanfort will run in both competitions after posting the ninth and ten-fastest times in the two events at during the invitational.
Senior Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone) missed last year's outdoor season but looks poised to recapture his crown in the 110m hurdles after posting a school-record time of 14.12 at the Mason Spring Invite.
Indoor champion Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) posted a career-best 800 outdoor time (1:52.19) at the Mason Spring Invitational to retake second in the UMBC record book. He, along with freshman Andrew Keresztes (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Port Jefferson) each enter the meet ranked in the top-three in the America East.
Freshman Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) has burst onto the scene for the Retrievers' distance crew and will run both the 5,000m and 10,000m. Omar travels to New York with the second-fastest time in UMBC history, as well as the America East this spring, in the 10,000 (30:54.82).
In the throws, junior Yao Adantor (Laurel, Md./Reservoir/Morgan St./Maryland) and sophomore Thor Serafenas (Olney, Md./Good Counsel/Clemson) will lead the Retrievers after breaking the school record in the shot put and hammer, respectively, this season.
Versatile rookie Vincent Renztsch (Oranienburg, Germany) will show off his talents this weekend while competing in the long jump, javelin, and decathlon. Rentzsch, who finished third in the heptathlon indoors, leads the league in the javelin after breaking the UMBC school record four times this spring. His top throw of 65.40m (214'7") earned him top honors at the Morgan State Legacy, the second time he won the event in 2013.