Jackson Sweeps 60m and 200m Events as Both Retriever Squads Finish Fifth at America East Indoor Championships
NEW YORK – UMBC junior Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) successfully retained her conference titles in the 60m and 200m dash events, while junior Alisha Beeman (Bridgeport, Conn./Bunnell/Hartford) and senior Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) broke school records, as the UMBC track and field teams completed competition at the 2014 America East Indoor Championships, Monday at The Armory.
Albany swept the men's (219 pts.) and women's (198 pts.) team titles with Binghamton (M-140.5 pts.; W-126 pts.) placing second in both standings. The Retriever women placed fifth overall with 85 points while the men also claimed fifth-place with 72.5 points.
After leading the qualifying rounds in both events yesterday, Jackson swept the sprint events for the second straight year, pushing her career conference indoor gold medal tally to five. She also won the 60m dash her freshman year in 2012. The junior first captured the 60m title with a time of 7.42, just .01 off of her season-best. Then she made it a sweep by taking the 200m title with a season-best mark of 24.00, .02 away from her school record (23.98) set last season.
Beeman made it two school records in two days, capturing the conference title and top UMBC height in the high jump after bettering her school-best pentathlon score on Sunday. Already the Retriever record holder after clearing 1.71m (5'7.25") at the Terrapin Invitational back in January, Beeman pushed past the field at the 1.70m (5'7") mark. She kept going and raised the UMBC bar to a record height of 1.74m (5'8.5").
In the men's event, senior Mo Drammeh (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) finished sixth after clearing 1.94m (6'4.25").
Senior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley), the school record holder in the 800m run, grabbed a gold in the event in New York. Smith outclassed the America East field by posting a time of 1:51.17.
Mezebish earned a silver medal at her final America East Indoor Championships with a new school record time in the women's 800m. Entering the meet with a personal-best of 2:14.71, which ranked third all-time, Mezebish crossed the line at 2:12.41 in New York, to finish second and qualify for the ECAC Championships.
In the men's one-mile race, senior Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley) placed third. Later, he led off for the Retrievers' 4x800 relay of sophomore Nick Johnson (Olney, Md./Sherwood), junior Charles Bolinger (Bowie, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt), and Smith, which also won a bronze with a time of 7:41.31, which meets the IC4A standard.
The women's team of Mezebish, junior Mary Katherine Kulp (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal), sophomore Angelina Oputa (Bowie, Md./Elizabeth Seton), and junior Sarah Daly (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion) also placed third, combining for an ECAC qualifying time of 9:20.68. Oputa also recorded a personal-best in the 1,000m race. She finished seventh in the run, but improved her best time to 2:57.23 which ranks third in the UMBC record book.
In the 3,000m run, sophomore Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) bettered his own school record time to win a bronze medal. Omar set the previous record and qualified for the IC4A meet with a 3k time of 8:23.50 at the NYU Team Challenge on Jan. 24 but bested it at the conference meet on Monday by crossing the line at 8:22.56.
Sophomore Vincent Rentzsch (Oranienburg, Germany/Elite Sportschule Potsdam) finished third in the heptathlon. After scoring 2,695 pts. on the first day of the seven-event competition on Sunday, Rentzsch added 2,194 pts. for a personal-best total of 4,889 pts. The sophomore finished second in the 60m hurdles (8.57) on Monday while finishing sixth in the pole vault (3.95m; 12'11.5"), as well as the 1,000m run (2:51.65).
In the men's triple jump, senior Dosu Teyibo (Silver Spring, Md./Barrie) tied for second with a career-best distance of 14.40m (47'3"). With his leap, Teyibo moves up into a tie for sixth all-time in UMBC history.
Junior Thor Serafenas (Olney, Md./Good Counsel/Clemson) and sophomore Nneoma Edokobi (Rockville, Md./Richard Montgomery) placed fourth in the men's and women's shot put events. Serafenas recorded a top season toss of 15.56m (51'0.75") while Edokobi's top heave measured 12.71m (41'8.5"). Senior Emma Mayne (Mt. Airy, Md./Linganore) and sophomore Jennifer Nelson (Plainfield, Conn./Plainfield) also advanced to the finals of the women's event.
Select Retriever athletes will now compete at the IC4A and ECAC Championships in Boston on March 8-9.