Men’s Track Finishes Second for Best-Ever Finish at America East Outdoor Championships; Women Place Fourth
VESTAL, N.Y. – Senior sprinter Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) won the 100m and 200m dash events, and anchored the 4x100m relay to a stirring win as the UMBC men's track and field team earned its best-ever finish at the America East Outdoor Championships, placing second overall, Sunday at Binghamton University's East Gym Complex.
Long, who also scored with the 4x400 relay team, earned the Most Outstanding Male Track Performer award, as well as the Coaches' Award for accumulating the most points of any individual competitor.
The Retrievers scored 176 points and finished behind only champion Albany (230.5 pts.). Maine (121 pts.), Binghamton (117 pts.), and New Hampshire (115 pts.) rounded out the top-five with Vermont (63.5 pts.), Stony Brook (27 pts.), and Hartford (6 pts.) completing the standings.
With the program-best finish, head coach David Bobb, along with his assistants, was named the America East Men's Coaching Staff of the Year.
Albany also won the women's title by totaling 245 points, ahead of Binghamton (136 pts.), Vermont (109.5 pts.), UMBC (108 pts.), and UNH (105.5 pts.). Maine (84 pts.), Stony Brook (36 pts.), and Hartford (34 pts.) closed out the rankings.
Long, who also earned the top individual honor at the indoor championships, started his day by finishing the 4x100 relay for the team consisting of junior Pat Balderson (Mount Airy, Md./Linganore), Jenove Blanfort, and senior Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone). Long gave the Retrievers the photo-finish win by crossing the line just ahead of Albany's Winston McCormark, Jr.
He followed the win by taking the top spot in the 100m dash with Blanfort placing fourth. The two sprinters then gave UMBC a one-two finish in the 200m event crossing the line ahead of three Great Danes.
Sophomore Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) paced the women's squad, sweeping the 100m and 200m sprints in America East record time. Jackson won the 100m event with a conference-best time of 11.68 and then took the 200m race by besting her own conference mark and school record with a time of 23.58. For her efforts, she was rewarded with the America East Most Outstanding Female Track award.
Senior Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) completed her career sweep of the shot put, taking the gold medal with a career-best toss of 14.84m (48'8.25"). Deller won the shot put competitions at each of the four America East indoor and outdoor championships during her UMBC career. Freshmen Nneoma Edokobi (Rockville, Md./Richard Montgomery) and Jennifer Nelson (Plainfield, Conn./Plainfield) also scored for the Retrievers, taking fourth and fifth, respectively.
Earlier in the day, Deller won the discus for the second-straight year with a throw of 43.11m (141'5") to beat the field by nearly eight feet. Deller matched Long by taking the America East Most Outstanding Female Field Performer and Coaches' Awards.
After helping the Retrievers take the 4x100 title, Proctor earned his second-career 110m hurdles gold medal, claiming the event with a finals' time of 14.33.
In the women's 400m hurdles, sophomore Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara) edged her school-record time even further for the second-consecutive day, taking third with a time of 1:00.83. Classmate Mary Katherine Kulp (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) also notched a career-best time, crossing the line in 1:02.91 to place fifth.
Coming into the 800m finals as the second-seed, freshman Andrew Keresztes (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Port Jefferson) earned his first career conference title with a career-best time of 1:51.24. Junior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) took fifth in the event.
In the women's event, junior Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) ran a career-best time of 2:11.9 to move up to second all-time at UMBC and finish fourth in the race.
A day after winning the javelin, freshman Vincent Renztsch (Oranienburg, Germany) proved his versatility by winning the two-day decathlon and earning Most Outstanding Male Rookie accolades. Coming into Sunday in third-place, Rentzsch won the discus and javelin competitions and finished tied for fourth in the pole vault, and sixth in both the 110m hurdles 1,500m run. Renztsch scored 6,585 points for the gold, the fourth-most in UMBC history.
Sophomore Thor Serafenas (Olney, Md./Good Counsel/Clemson) won the gold medal in the discus, a day after losing the hammer by one inch. Serafenas won the event with an opening-round toss of 47.99m (157'5") with junior Ray Stinsman III (Mt. Laurel, N.J./Lenape) taking fourth, junior Yao Adanto (Laurel, Md./Reservoir/Morgan St./Maryland) finishing sixth, and sophomore Nnamdi Edokobi (Rockville, Md./Richard Montgomery) taking eighth. Adantor earned a silver medal in the shot put with a heave of 15.78m (51'9.25").
In the men's 1,500m run, junior Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley) finished fourth with a school-record time of 3:48.35. His time eclipses the previous record of 3:49.20 set 2007 by Anthony Kelhower and qualifies Albino for the IC4A meet next weekend.
Most Outstanding Track: Dennison Long (UMBC)
Most Outstanding Field: Alexander Bowen (ALB)
Most Outstanding Rookie: Vincent Rentzsch (UMBC)
Coaches' Award: Dennison Long (UMBC)
Coaching Staff of the Year: UMBC
Most Outstanding Track Performer: Mercedes Jackson (UMBC)
Most Outstanding Field Performer: Amanda Deller (UMBC)
Most Outstanding Rookie: Jaclyn Masters (Maine)
Coaches' Award: Amanda Deller (UMBC)
Coaching Staff of the Year: Binghamton