BALTIMORE – After a successful indoor season in which the women's track team took a conference-best second place at the America East Championships, the UMBC track and field teams open the outdoor season this weekend at the Florida State Relays in Tallahassee, Fla. A small group of Retriever athletes will compete at the meet which starts on Friday at Mike Long Track.
Sophomore sprinter, and recent USTFCCCA All-American, Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) leads the group of UMBC athletes down to the Sunshine State. The school record holder in four events, indoor and outdoor, Jackson just finished her indoor season two weeks ago by competing at the NCAA Championships in Arkansas in the 60m dash. A two-time America East gold medalist in the event, Jackson placed 13th at the national meet.
Last year as a freshman, Jackson carried her indoor success to the outdoor season where she broke the school mark in both the 100m (11.66) and 200m dash (23.80) events. At the conference meet at Maine, the sprinter won the 200m dash and finished second in the 100m competition to earn the Most Outstanding Female Rookie Award.
Junior Kirsten Jones (Brentwood, Tenn./M.L.K. Magnet) will also compete in the sprints for UMBC following a successful indoor campaign. At the ECAC meet in Boston, Mass., Jones broke the UMBC school record in the 400m (55.80) while also setting a person-best in the 200m (24.52) event. Jones currently occupies second in the 400m outdoor event in the school record book and fourth in the 200m event while helping the 4x100 relay team break the school record last year.
In the women's hurdles, sophomore Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara) takes to the track looking to improve on her already school-record time of 1:01.97 and earn a spot at the NCAA East Regionals after competing at the ECAC meet last year. During the indoor season, Fogle set the school record in the 500m long sprint and won the conference title.
For the men, seniors Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) and Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone) both enter the outdoor season coming off of gold-medal winning performances at the America East Indoor Championships. Long captured both the 60m and 200m sprint events to earn Most Outstanding Male Track Athlete accolades while Proctor claimed the 60m hurdles for the third-straight year.
The Retrievers send five athletes, three women and two men, to compete in the 800m run at FSU. On the men's side, America East event champion Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) and freshman Andrew Keresztes (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Port Jefferson) will compete, while Keresztes, a top-five conference finisher in the 1,000m, will also take part in the 1,500m run.
For the women, sophomore Sarah Daly (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion) leads the trio after snapping the school record in the indoor event (2:12.65) at the ECAC Championships. She currently holds the sixth-best time in school history outside, while junior Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) has the fourth spot and will also compete in Florida, in addition to sophomore Mary Katherine Kulp (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal).
In the field events, a successful group competes for the Black and Gold. Indoor shot put school record holder Yao Adantor (Laurel, Md./Reservoir/Morgan State/Maryland) takes his first throws outside while sophomore Thor Serafenas (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) goes in the hammer. Senior Amanda Deller(Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen), a three-time conference champion in the outdoor shot put, takes to the circle while freshman Nneoma Edokobi (Rockville, Md./Richard Montgomery) takes part in the hammer competition.
Senior Shioma Obemeata (New Rochelle, N.Y./Iona Prep/St. Francis), coming off of a conference title in the triple jump indoors, starts his outdoor season in Tallahassee in both the triple jump and high jump.