Email This Page
Record Number of Retrievers to Go to NCAA East Preliminaries
Sophomore Mercedes Jackson
Senior Amanda Deller
INDIANAPOLIS – A school-record six athletes from the UMBC track and field teams have advanced to the NCAA East Preliminaries to be held at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, N.C. on May 23-25. The Retrievers’ total doubles the previous school-best of three which was set just last year.
Sophomore sprinter Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) moves on to the regional meet for the second-straight year after another record-breaking season. A Second Team All-American in the indoor 60m dash, Jackson goes to The Tar Heel State to compete in both the 100m and 200m dash competitions where she is seeded 19th and 23rd, respectively. This spring season, she set new career and school-best times in both events, with a time of 11.51 to win last week’s ECAC title in the 100m, and her gold medal-winning time of 23.58 at the America East Championships.
In the throws, eight-time America East shot put champion Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) advances for the second year in a row, as well. The senior, who won the conference title at each of the four indoor and outdoor meets in her career, set a new career-best this year with her toss of 14.84m (48’8.25”) at the conference championships.
For the men, seniors Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt, FIU) and Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone), as well as sophomore Thor Serafenas (Olney, Md./Good Counsel/Clemson) and freshman Vincent Rentzsch (Oranienburg, Germany) will all travel south for the Retrievers.
Long helped UMBC claim its best-ever finish at the America East meet, second place, by winning the 100m and 200m dash events, and anchoring the 4x100 relay to a win. For his efforts, he was named the conference Most Outstanding Male Track Performer. He will compete in the 100m dash in Greensboro after posting a career-best time of 10.39 while winning the event at the Mason Spring Invitational.
A two-time conference individual gold medal-winner, Proctor makes the road trip after breaking a 38-year old school record in the 110m hurdles at the Mason meet (14.12). Proctor earned his gold at the conference meet with his second-best time of the spring, 14.33.
Already in control of the school record in their respective events, Serafenas and Rentzsch lead the Retrievers in the throws. Serafenas broke the school mark twice this season, first at the Big Dawg Invitational on Mar. 30 at UMBC Stadium, and then again just last week at the IC4A meet at Princeton with a throw of 57.26m (187’10”).
Rentzsch, meanwhile, set a new standard in the javelin on four separate occasions as a freshman, including during his first ever outdoor meet, the Florida State Relays on Mar. 22. After two more record-breaking performances, the versatile rookie reset his career-best to 65.40m (214’7) while taking top honors at the Morgan State Legacy meet. Though not breaking his record, Rentzsch won the event at the America East Championships, and followed that by taking the gold in the decathlon.