BALTIMORE – Five school records fell as the UMBC track and field team hosted its first invitational meet in ten years, the Big Dawg Invitational, Saturday afternoon at UMBC Stadium. Sophomore sprinter Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) led the Retrievers on the day by breaking two school marks.
Already the holder of the 100m and 200m records at UMBC after her breakout freshman campaign, Jackson reset both during her first-ever home meet. In the 100m dash, Jackson led a group of four Retrievers in the top-five, winning the event with a time of 11.65 and qualifying for the ECAC meet in May. Freshman D'Nique Phillip (Elkton, Md.) and junior Kirsten Jones (Brentwood, Tenn./M.L.K. Magnet) each set personal-bests, taking second and third place, while sophomore Ebonique Jones (New Castle, Del./William Penn) was fourth.
Jackson made it a sweep by taking top honors in the 200m dash with a new personal-record time of 23.60. She along with Phillip (24.51), the second-place finisher, qualified for the regional meet with Phillip recording the third-fastest time in school history. Kirsten Jones tied her personal-best (24.91) to take fourth and sophomore Kalane' Abbey (Laurel, Md./Laurel) finished sixth. Abbey also set a personal-best in the 400m dash (57.35).
Just outside the stadium, senior Yao Adantor (Laurel, Md./Reservoir/Morgan St./Maryland), freshman Vincent Rentzsch (Oranienburg, Germany), and sophomore Thor Serafenas (Olney, Md./Good Counsel/Clemson) put on a show while setting new school marks in the shot put, javelin, and hammer. Adantor, who finished third in the hammer and sixth in the discus, took second in the shot put with a school-record heave of 16.55m (54'3.75"). Adantor was the top collegiate finisher in the event and qualified for the IC4A meet to be held at Princeton. Serafenas, meanwhile, won the hammer event with a toss of 59.85m (196'4.00") while finishing third in the discus (48.29m; 158'5.00").
For the second-straight week Rentzsch put together a career performance in the javelin. After breaking the school record last week at the Florida State Relays, the freshman outdid himself on Saturday with a throw of 60.38m (198'1.00").
On the women's side, senior Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) paced a group of four Retrievers in the top-ten in the hammer competition. Freshman Jennifer Nelson (Plainfield, Conn./Plainfield) took fourth in the event and moved to sixth in the UMBC record book with a toss of 39.62m (130"0.00"). A three-time America East champion in the shot put, Deller won the event on Saturday with a throw of 13.57m (44'6.25").
Back on the track, the Retrievers owned both of the women's relay races, claiming the 4x100 and 4x400 events, both in ECAC-qualifying time. In the shorter of the two, Ebonique Jones, Phillip, freshman Tessa Seale, and Jackson combined to cross the line in 47.28. The 1600 team of Kirsten Jones, Abbey, junior Deborah Adelola (Lanham, Md./Bladensburg), and senior Ashley Ajayi (Bowie, Md./Elizabeth Seton) finished ahead of the pack with a time of 3:51.28.
Senior Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) claimed his first title of the outdoor season by winning the 200m dash (21.83). Earlier in the day he qualified for the IC4A meet in the 100m dash with a time of 10.81.
In the women's 400m hurdles, sophomore Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara) took second with classmate Mary Katherine Kulp (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) just back in third with a personal-best time of 1:05.20.
In the day's first event, freshman Redatu Semeon (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone) took third in the 3,000m steeplechase with the sixth-fastest time in UMBC history (9:28.74).
The Retrievers return to action next weekend when the team heads south the Durham, N.C. for the Duke Invitational which begins on Friday, Apr. 5.