BALTIMORE – After hosting their first home meet in ten years, the UMBC track and field teams return to the road this weekend to continue the outdoor campaign with the Duke Invitational, starting on Friday at Wallace Wade Stadium. The two-day invitational in Durham, N.C. will begin on Friday with the women's javelin and men's hammer at noon. The track events will start at 3:30 p.m. with the 400m hurdles.
The Retrievers are coming off of a successful weekend at home in which five school records and one track record fell by the wayside at the Big Dawg Invitational. Sophomore sprinter Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) led the charge by snapping the school record in the 100m and 200m dash events, while also setting a new track record in the latter. Already the school record holder in the events, Jackson lowered her times to 11.65 in the 100m and 23.60m in the 200m, both of which rank as tops in the America East. In addition, the times currently put Jackson in a tie for 23rd and fourth in the NCAA East Region.
The sophomore is not alone however, as freshman D'Nique Phillip (Elkton, Md.) is third in the conference and tied for 69th regionally in the 200m (24.51) and sixth in the league in the 100m (12.19).
Sophomore Kirsten Jones (Brentwood, Tenn./M.L.K. Magnet) recorded career-best times in the 100m (12.25) and 200m (24.91) last week, but will return to the 400m event this weekend in North Carolina.
America East Most Outstanding Indoor Male Track Athlete Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) has started his outdoor season with a bang in the first two meets. At the season-opening Florida State Relays he ran a career-best 21.80 in the 200m and then last week he qualified for the IC4A meet with a time of 10.81, which ranks third in the conference.
Senior Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone) has also met the IC4A standard already this season. The 2011 America East outdoor champion in the 110m hurdles, Proctor began his season with a 14.72 at the meet in Tallahasse, Fla. on Mar. 22, a time which ranks third in the America East and 80th regionally. Last week in Baltimore, the senior placed second in the event with a time of 14.84.
After taking second and third last week, sophomores Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara) and Mary Katherine Kulp (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) will compete in the 400m hurdles. Fogle, the school-record holder in the event (1:01.97), and Kulp rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the conference.
The distance events will see many Retrievers returning to their specialty after adding to their repertoire last weekend. Sophomore Sarah Daly (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion), the indoor school record holder, and junior Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) will lead the way in the women's 800 and will be joined by Kulp and freshman Angelina Oputa (Bowie, Md./Elizabeth Seton). On the men's side, indoor champion Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) and freshman Andrew Keresztes (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Port Jefferson) will hit the track.
Three throwing school records fell at the Big Dawg Invitational with junior Yao Adantor (Laurel, Md./Reservoir/Morgan St./Maryland), sophomore Thor Serafenas (Olney, Md./Good Counsel/Clemson), and freshman Vincent Rentzsch (Oranienburg, Germany) each claiming one.
In the shot put, Adantor finished second overall, but was the top-collegiate competitor, recording a record-breaking toss of 16.55m (54'3.75"). His throw slots him third in the conference and 38th in the region. The junior also ranks fourth in the conference in both the discus and hammer.
Serafenas took control of the hammer record a week ago, winning the Big Dawg competition with a throw of 56.85m (186'6"), and taking second in the America East. The sophomore also moved up in the discus record book last weekend, placing third with a conference-best heave of 48.29m (158'5"), to rank 63rd on the East Coast.
Rentzsch continued his hot start to the outdoor campaign by breaking the school javelin record for the second-straight week. His toss of 60.38m (198'1") leads the league and sits 43rd for the NCAA East Prelims.