CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A trio of UMBC track and field athletes have earned America East Performer of the Week awards after opening the outdoor season at the FSU Relays, the conference office announced on Tuesday afternoon. Senior Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) and sophomore Vincent Rentzsch (Oranienburg, Germany/Elite Sportschule Potsdam) swept the men's awards while junior Alisha Beeman (Bridgeport, Conn./Bunnell/Hartford) garnered the Women's Field Performer of the Week award.
After sitting out the indoor season, Long returned to his blistering outdoor form, taking second in both the 100m and 200m dash events at the competition in Tallahassee. Trailing only unattached runner Javon Young in each event, Long recorded a time of 10.57 in the short sprint and a new personal-best time of 21.09 in the 200m race. Both times meet the IC4A standard for the regional meet to be held at Princeton in May.
Rentzsch started his season off on the right foot for the second straight year, capturing the top spot in the javelin competition. The sophomore, who last year broke the school record and advanced all the way to the NCAA Championships in Oregon, bested the field with a top toss of 66.09m (216'10"). A versatile athlete, Rentzsch also competed in discus, placing seventh (40.47m; 132'9"), and shot put, taking eighth (13.93m; 45'8.5").
Having already claimed two school records during the indoor season, Beeman took hold of her third at the first meet of the spring season in the Sunshine State. The junior placed fifth in the javelin event, but earned the top spot in the Retriever record book with a heave of 41.92m (137'6"), good for ECAC qualification. Beeman also won the high jump event by clearing 1.68m (5'6"), the second-best leap in program history, and competed in the long jump (4.71m; 15'5.5").
The awards bring UMBC's total up to seven combined for the indoor and outdoor seasons. Senior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) and junior Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) swept the track honors on Feb. 11 while freshman Mercedes Tillman (Waldorf, Md./North Point) and sophomore Nneoma Edokobi (Rockville, Md./Richard Montgomery) won the women's awards, respectively, the next week (Feb. 18).
The UMBC track and field team hosts the 2014 Big Dawg Invitational this Saturday, March 29 at UMBC Stadium. The field competitions will commence at 10:00 a.m. with the women's hammer throw while the track events will start with the 3,000m steeplechase at 10:45 a.m.