Top Retriever Track and Field Athletes Travel to Princeton for ECAC/IC4A Championships
BALTIMORE – With the America East Championships in the books, top UMBC track and field athletes now set their sights on national and regional competitions, beginning with the ECAC and IC4A Championships this weekend at Princeton. The meet, which will be held at the William Weaver Track and Field Stadium, is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. on Friday with the heptathlon and run through Sunday afternoon.
Led by top individual performances from America East Most Outstanding Track Performers Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) and Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown), the Retriever men placed second as a team, while the women finished in fourth at the conference meet at Vermont. In addition, the Retriever coaching staff, led by head coach David Bobb, was named the men's Coaching Staff of the Year at the conclusion of the meet.
Long and Jackson will now lead the Retrievers into the next stage of the season.
Long swept the 100m and 200m dash events at the conference meet in Vermont and ranks 30th (10.36) and 37th (20.86) in the respective events in the NCAA East region. Both times rank second in UMBC history, behind only coach Bobb, and Long will try to lower them even further this weekend before making his way to the NCAA East Preliminaries later this month in Jacksonville, Fla.
Jackson, who also won the Coaches' Award at the America East meet, earned her fourth straight conference top performer award after winning the 100m event and placing second in the 200m race in Vermont. She will only compete in the 100m individually this weekend in the Garden State as she ranks tied for 41st (11.60) in the event in the East region in her attempt to make in back to the NCAA Championships for the second straight year. She is also scheduled to compete for the Retriever 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.
Senior Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone) claimed his third career conference gold medal in the 110m hurdles earlier this month and will compete in the event at Princeton. The veteran currently ranks tied for 11th in the NCAA East Region in the event with his school record time of 13.88 from the Mason Spring Invitational on April 12. At the America East meet, Proctor broke the conference record in both the prelims (14.06) and finals (14.01).
Also competing in the sprints, senior Deborah Adelola (Lanham, Md./Bladensburg) will run in the 400m dash after winning the competition at the America East Championships with a personal-best time of 55.84. Sophomore Marie Yuille (Bowie, Md./Oakland Mills) will run the 200m dash for UMBC and currently holds the fourth-fastest time in school history of 24.57.
Junior Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara) clipped her school record at the conference meet, winning a silver medal in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:00.36. She will look to lower her time even further while competing in the event at Princeton.
School record holder Alisha Beeman (Bridgeport, Conn./Bunnell/Hartford) will compete in both the high jump and javelin this weekend for the Retrievers. The junior owns the school record in the indoor high jump (1.74m; 5'8.5") and ranks second outdoors with her top leap of 1.68m (5'6"), first achieved at the FSU Relays back in March. She took hold of the javelin record at the meet in Tallahassee and has since pushed further with her top heave of 43.92m (144'1") coming at the Penn Relays.
Seniors Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) and Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) will compete in the men's and women's 800m races, respectively, this weekend. Both athletes hold the school record for the event with Smith's time of 1:49.64 from the Larry Ellis Invitational ranking 46th regionally. Mezebish is also set to run in the 4x800 relay for UMBC.
Sophomores Redatu Semon (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone) and Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson), in addition to senior Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley), will compete for the Retriever men's distance team. Albino won the 1,500m run at the America East meet and will try to better his top season time of 3:52.04 and career-best and school record of 3:48.35, set last year. Semeon, meanwhile, will run the 3,000m steeplechase after placing second at the conference meet, and Omar will compete in the 5,000m race.
For the women, senior Kirsten McGovern (Sykesville, Md./Century) and sophomore Nicole Dawson (Jessup, Md./Hammond) will run in the 10,000m event after both posting career-best times at the America East Championships.
A veteran crew will represent UMBC in the field events, beginning with America East triple jump champion Shioma Obemeata (New Rochelle, N.Y./Iona Prep/St. Francis). The senior has posted a career-best leap in each of his last two competitions, winning the conference title with a jump of 14.97m (49'1.5"). Classmate Dosu Teyibo (Silver Spring, Md./Barrie) will join Obemeata in the triple jump after winning a bronze in Vermont, while silver medal winning senior Mo Drammeh (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) will compete in the high jump. Senior Yao Adantor (Laurel, Md./Reservoir/Morgan State/Maryland) will represent the Retrievers in the shot put. He holds the school record in the event with a heave of 16.60m (54'5.5") in 2013 and came close to breaking it at the FSU meet with a toss of 16.59m (54'5.25").