UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – UMBC standouts Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) and Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone) both set records as the UMBC track and field teams opened 2013 at the Penn State Relays.
Jackson broke her own record in the 60m with a finals time of 7.42, en route to winning the event. The sophomore also took top honors in the 200m dash with a time of 24.35.
Meanwhile, Proctor, a two-time America East champion in the event, tied the school record by winning 60m hurdles event in a time of 8.00. His time matches the current UMBC mark set by Negasi Gerima in 2000. Proctor had previously matched his personal-best of 8.02 in the preliminary round.
Numerous other Retrievers set personal-best while the men's 4x800 relay team of Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) , Jon Constantinides (Damascus, Md./Damascus), Andrew Kereszetes (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Port Jefferson), and Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley) qualified for the IC4A meet in March by completing the event in 7:44.50.
Senior Shioma Obemeata (New Rochelle, N.Y./Iona Prep/St. Francis) also earned a spot in the IC4A meet by recording a leap of 14.50m (47'7.0") in the triple jump competition.
Also for the men, senior Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) earned two top-ten finishes at Penn State, each time landing in the UMBC record book. Long finished second in the 60m dash and currently sits in fourth all-time with a time of 6.88. He then earned a sixth-place finish and moved to second in the Retriever record book by completing the 200m dash in 21.99.
In the distance event, freshman Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) made a successful debut for the Black and Gold, claiming second in the 3,000m with a time of 8:35.01, the eighth fastest time in school history.
In addition to Jackson's two wins, UMBC also received contributions across the board on the women's side.
Senior Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen), last year's America East Most Outstanding Field Athlete, finished fifth in both the shot put and weight throw, setting season-bests in both events. Deller recorded a toss of 13.72m (45'0.25") and then notched a throw of 15.65m (51'4.25) in the weight throw.
Also in the weight throw, freshman Jennifer Nelson (Plainfield, Conn./Plainfield) finished seventh in the weight throw and moved into sixth all-time at UMBC with a throw of 14.83m (48'8.0").
Distance athlete freshman Angel Bucci (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby) finished fourth in the 3,000m run with the tenth- fastest time in school history (10:28.25). Sophomore Julie Gessler (Ellicott City, Md./Institute of Notre Dame) as well as freshmen Nicole Dawson (Jessup, Md./Hammond) and Harmony Roche (Millersville, Md./Severn School) also earned top-ten finishes.
In the mid-distance, junior Kirsten Jones (Brentwood, Tenn./M.L.K Magnet) finished fourth (1:20.73) while classmate Blossom Metevier (Shelby Township, Mich./Eisenhower) placed tenth in the 500m run.
UMBC now has a short week off before heading to New York for the Gotham Cup on Friday, Jan. 11.