Success Continues as Records Fall for UMBC Track and Field at NYU Team Challenge
NEW YORK – Competing in the same facility in which the 2014 America East Indoor Championships will be held, the UMBC track and field team continued its success with Retrievers breaking two school records and winning six events, in addition to the women's 4x400, at the NYU Team Challenge at the New York Armory.
After missing out on the school record in the 1,000m last week by just .02, senior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) took hold of the 800m Retriever record by winning the event in New York with a time of 1:51.30. His time is over a second improvement from his previous best (1:52.92), set during his sophomore season, and eclipses Michael Christmas' mark of 1:52.78 set during the 2010-11 season. Having already qualified for the IC4A meet to be held in March, Smith's time from New York meets the regional standard as well.
Junior Charles Bolinger (Bowie, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) finished tenth in the event with a season-best time of 1:56.35.
The Retriever distance crew shined at the Armory as sophomore Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) also broke a school record on Friday, claiming the top spot in the 3,000m run. Omar slotted his name at the top of the list for the event by pacing the field with a time of 8:23.50 to slide past Greg Saylor's 2004 time of 8:26.00 and meet the IC4A standard. Senior Tom Eldridge (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River) was not far back for UMBC, finishing fourth with a personal-best time of 8:38.24.
In the one-mile race, senior Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley) recorded a personal-best time of 4:10.23, the fourth-fastest in program history, to qualify for the IC4As in Boston. Sophomore Nick Johnson (Olney, Md./Sherwood) was four spot back of Albino, in eighth, with a time of 4:20.84.
Two Retrievers set new personal-bests in the pole vault as senior Liam Stott (Carrboro, N.C./Chapel Hill) cleared 4.45m (14'7.00") and sophomore Caitlyn Davis (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) cleared 3.15m (10'4.00"). Stott takes over tenth all-time while Davis moves up to second in the women's top-ten.
Junior Thor Serafenas (Olney, Md./Good Counsel/Clemson) recorded a season-best in the weight throw with a toss of 15.91m (52'2.50").
In the triple jump, freshman Abigale Slonski (Griswold, Conn./Griswold) leapt her way up to fifth all-time at UMBC with a try of 10.77m (35'4.00"). Davis, meanwhile, recorded a personal-best of 9.66m (31'8.50") in the event.
For the Retriever women on the track, junior Kalane' Abbey (Laurel, Md./Laurel), senior Kirsten Jones (Brentwood, Tenn./M.L.K. Magnet), and junior Sarah Daly (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion) all claimed event wins for the Retrievers.
Abbey posted a season-best time of 58.12 to win the 400m dash while Jones took the 500m title with a personal-best time of 1:14.54, which ranks third in Retrievers history. In addition, Jones placed third in the 200m with a time of 25.34. Junior Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara) and senior Deborah Adelola (Lanham, Md./Bladensburg) also finished in the top-ten in the 500m, taking third and seventh, respectively.
In the 800m run, Daly just edged out teammate Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) to take the top honor. The junior crossed the line at 2:14.97, just ahead of Mezebish at 2:15.97.
Sophomore Angelina Oputa (Bowie, Md./Elizabeth Seton) and senior Kirsten McGovern (Sykesville, Md./Century) also broke into the top-ten in the Big Apple. Oputa set a career-best of 5:14.99 in the mile while McGovern registered a top-time of 10:24.53 in the 3,000m run.
In the sprints, junior Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) led a trio of Retrievers into the finals of the 60m dash, eventually taking second place. Sophomore D'Nique Phillip (Elkton, Md./North East) took fifth while freshman Nailah Johnson (Capitol Heights, Md.) placed seventh.
The Retrievers return to action next week when they split up to compete at the Penn State National Open and the Patriot Games at George Mason.