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UMBC Track and Field Opens 2009-10 Season at Bison Opener Saturday
Senior Britney Foreman
BALTIMORE--The UMBC men's and women's track and field teams open the 2009-10 season when they travel to Lewisburg, Pa. for the Bison Opener Saturday.
Women's Track and Field Outlook
The UMBC women’s track and field team looks to improve upon a 2008-09 year in which it finished seventh at the America East Indoor Championships and ninth at the Outdoor Championships after injuries left the team with little depth.
Seniors Britney Foreman and Tawana Wilson will lead the Retrievers in the sprints, along with sophomore Kiki Malomo-Paris. Foreman set the school record in the 60-meter dash, while earning bronze at the 2009 America East Indoor Championships. She earned silver in the outdoor meet.
In the long sprints, freshman Ashley Ajayi and Korine Duval will look to step in and compete right away with sophomores Ashly McClure and Lauren LeClerqc looking to bounce back from injuries that hampered their freshmen seasons. Junior Nicole Smalls will also provide depth in the sprints.
Sophomores Imani Colbert and Fallon Rovel-Jones will look to continue to improve on their impressive freshman campaigns. Colbert set school records in the 55-meter and 60-meter hurdles on her way to a silver medal-winning performance at the indoor conference meet before suffering an injury during the outdoor season. Rovel-Jones, who incurred an injury early in the year, just missed out on the finals of the 100-meter hurdles at the outdoor championships.
Senior Sara Parkinson, who can compete from the 1-mile run all the way up to the 5,000-meter run, will lead the Retrievers after earning her second consecutive All-Conference honors at the America East Cross Country Championships. She earned bronze in the 1-mile run at the indoor championships and sixth in the 1,500-meter run at the outdoor meet.
Senior Suzanne Gabriel, who had an outstanding cross country season, sophomore Keri Wilson and Parkinson will once again be the top distance runners for UMBC. Parkinson won the bronze in the 3,000-meter run at the indoor meet, while Gabriel finished seventh in the 5,000-meter run in the outdoor season. Wilson will also compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the outdoor season, which she finished eighth in at the 2009 conference meet.
Freshman Amanda Deller comes to UMBC and should immediately make an impact in the shot put at the conference meet, while continuing to improve at the weight and hammer throws.
Junior Jasmin Batchelor will once again compete in the high and triple jumps and will look to regain the form that she achieved her freshman year, while freshman Angela Mensah will see action in the long and triple jumps.
Freshman Chowan Brightful will look to fill the void in the pentathlon and heptathlon left by Toni Boyd, who set UMBC records in the javelin throw and the heptathlon in 2008.
With some solid newcomers coming in and a healthier team this season, head coach David Bobb thinks the Retrievers will be able to improve upon last season. “We should be able to compete in the middle half of the conference this year” Bobb said.
Men’s Track and Field Outlook
The UMBC men’s track and field team looks at the 2009-10 year as chance to break into the Top-3 in the America East after a year in which it finished fourth at both the indoor and outdoor conference meets.
Seniors Adrian Arthur and Antonio Thomas will look to pick up where they left off last year in the sprints, while sophomore Tyler Cuomo will look to improve on his first year at UMBC. Arthur won the 100-meter dash at the 2009 America East Outdoor Championships, while Thomas finished second.
These three will be joined by senior Jason Powell in the 200-meter dash, which should be one of the Retrievers’ strongest events. Thomas and Arthur went 1-2 at the outdoor conference meet, while Arthur earned bronze and Thomas and Powell finished fourth and seventh in the indoor meet, respectively.
In the long sprints, seniors Mohamed Koroma and Marcus Dickerson will be joined by sophomores Arjun Pradeep and Joshua Hewitson to make the finals in the 400 and 500-meter dashes and also be factors in the 4x400-meter relays. Senior Brandon Ellerby will look to overcome injuries and be available by the end of the year. Ellerby made the finals of the 400-meter dash at the indoor meet, while Hewitson finished fifth in the 500.
In the hurdles, seniors Keith Brown, Camal Pugh and Dominic Devaud return to head up a very strong hurdles group that will be aided by the addition of freshman Trae Proctor. Hewitson will add depth in the 400-meter hurdles in the outdoor season.
Brown won the silver in the 55-meter hurdles at the conference indoor meet and bronze in the 110-meter hurdles at the outdoor championships, while Pugh, earned bronze and silver in the same events. Devaud made the finals at both meets.
The Retrievers have a slew of incoming athletes who should compete well in the 800-meter and 1-mile runs, including freshmen Aristotle Johnson, Sha-kim Myers, Adam Davis and Lyndon Novotny. The freshmen quartet will be joined by three-fourths of the 4x800-meter relay school record team of senior Michael Christmas, sophomore Chris Snyder and senior Josh Okoniewski, who will only compete in the outdoor season. Sophomore twins Roy and Tim Jones will also provide depth in the middle distance events.
Senior Andrew Madison will look to end his Retriever career on a high note in the distance events, as junior Chris Bowie will look to build upon a strong cross country season. Freshman TJ Cowing, who led the Retrievers across the line at the season opening Mount St. Mary’s 5K Duals, will look to add depth, while fellow freshman Randal McKissack earned a spot on the team after winning the second annual 5K Dawg Chase, held during UMBC’s homecoming festivities.
Senior Victor Gilreath will look to improve upon an outstanding first year in Baltimore in the high and triple jumps, while junior Keith Onto returns to the team after missing a year and will look to compete for the conference title in the long jump.
Gilreath set the school record in both the indoor and outdoor triple jumps, earning silver in the outdoor conference meet and bronze at the indoor meet. He also claimed gold in both the indoor and outdoor high jumps.
Senior Michael Buccheri will add depth in the high jump, while senior Brian Pendleton will compete in the long and triple jumps in the outdoor season. Pendleton earned bronze in the triple jump at the outdoor championships.
In the throwing events, sophomore Aaron Brooks returns after a solid opening campaign, while he will be joined by two good freshmen in Evan Palmer and Cameron McDearmon. Sophomore Joshua Mayne will add additional sport in the throws. Brooks finished seventh in the shot put at both conference meets.
Devaud returns as the top pole vaulter, after finished fifth in indoor and sixth at the outdoor meet. Nevarez, sophomore Sam Wilson and freshman Sean Kshimetski will add depth and will look to make this one UMBC’s top events.
In the heptathlon and decathlon, Onto and senior Dominic Devaud head up a very strong group that also includes junior Martin Nevarez and Buccheri. Devaud won the heptathlon in 2009, while he finished fifth in the decathlon. Onto set the school record in the heptathlon in 2008.
Head coach David Bobb sees this year as the year the men can compete for the America East Indoor Championship, with a plethora of incoming freshmen joining a solid group of veterans. “If we continue to progress the way we have the past couple of years, we should be able to compete in the indoor season and continue to be in the upper half of the conference for the outdoor season,” Bobb said.