Elite Retriever Athletes Head to Prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia
BALTIMORE – Looking to improve season-bests in attempt to reach the NCAA East Preliminaries in Jacksonville, Fla., elite Retriever athletes will head to Philadelphia for the prestigious Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania. The three-day meet at Franklin Field will begin on Thursday, April 24 and run through Saturday evening in the City of Brotherly Love.
Senior Shioma Obemeata (New Rochelle, N.Y./Iona Prep/St. Francis) was named the America East Male Field Athlete of the Week on Tuesday after recording a career-best leap in the triple jump last week at Morgan State. Obemeata qualified for the IC4A Championships with his jump of 14.90 (10'8.75"), sits second in the America East, and looks to push further in the event this weekend.
Sprinter Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) took the weekend off from individual competition last weekend, but competed with the UMBC relay teams. The Retriever senior leads the America East in both the 100m dash (10.36) and 200m dash (20.86), ranking 44th and 43rd in the nation in the respective events, and will race in the 100m dash in Philadelphia. In addition, he is scheduled to compete in the 4x100m relay for the Retrievers.
On the women's side, junior Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) continues her pursuit of reaching a second consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championships. Jackson competed at the 2013 meet in Oregon and currently leads the conference in the 100m dash (11.71) and holds the fastest outdoor 200m time (23.96), but sits just outside of the top-50 in the nation. She will compete individually in the 100m at Penn while also running in the 4x100m relay.
Senior Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone) stepped away from his specialty, the 110m hurdles, last week, but will return to the event this weekend. The senior broke his own school record in the event on back-to-back weekends earlier this month and currently leads the conference and ranks tied for 20th in the nation with his top time of 13.88.
In the throws, school record holders Vincent Rentzsch (Oranienburg, Germany/Elite Sportschule Potsdam), Alisha Beeman (Bridgeport, Conn./Bunnell/Hartford), Thor Serafenas (Olney, Md./Good Counsel/Clemson), and Yao Adantor (Laurel, Md./Reservoir/Morgan State) will all compete for the Retrievers at the Penn Relays.
Rentzsch, the top male javelin thrower in school history and an NCAA Championships participant a year ago, will look to improve upon his top season throw of 66.09m (216'10") which came at the FSU relays on March 21. His mark leads the conference and ranks him 42nd nationally. Last year, he advanced to the national meet in Oregon with his best throw of the season, a heave of 70.88m (232'6").
Beeman, meanwhile, broke the UMBC women's mark in the javelin earlier this year with her toss of 41.92m (137'6'), also at the meet in Tallahassee. The junior sits second in the America East standings, trailing only Vermont's Nika Ouellette who recorded a top throw of 46.45m (152'5") earlier this spring. Beeman will also compete in the high jump during the three-day meet in Philadelphia, looking to improve upon her top height of 1.68m (5'6").
Serafenas will compete in his best event, the hammer throw, in addition to joining Adantor in the shot put competition. The junior from Olney broke his own school record in the hammer two weeks ago at the Mason Spring Invitational with a heave of 58.95m (193'5") to climb to the top of the America East standings. In the shot put, Adantor nearly equaled his school record toss of 16.60m (54'5.50") with a toss of 16.59m (54'5.25) at the FSU Relays and sits second in the conference.
Sophomore Nneoma Edokobi (Rockville, Md./Richard Montgomery) will compete for the Retrievers in the women's shot put. She recorded a career-best outdoor shot put throw of 12.40m (40'8.25") at last week's Morgan State Legacy Meet.