LEWISBURG, PA. – The UMBC track and field teams started their season off on the right foot as freshman Mercedes Jackson (Huntington, Md./Huntington) set a school record in the 60m dash (7.52) and multiple athletes qualified for the ECAC Championships, Saturday at the Bison Opener at Bucknell University.
Running in her first ever race as a Retriever, Jackson immediately made her mark on the school record books. In claiming her first ever win for UMBC, the freshman smashed the old mark of 7.65 set by Britney Foreman in 2009. Classmate Ebonique Jones (New Castle, Del./William Penn) placed fourth with a time of 7.78. Jones also put herself on the all-time list for the long jump with a jump of 5.51m (18'1").
While the freshman made their mark early, the veterans stepped up as well. Junior Chowan Brightful (New Market, Md./Linganore) put herself at the top of the UMBC all-time list in the high jump, breaking her previous mark with a try of 1.7m (5'7'') to become the new school leader. Senior Imani Colbert (Upper Marlboro, Md./C.H. Flowers) continued to show veteran leadership as well claiming victory in the 60m hurdles (8.77).
In the shot put, junior Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) and senior Chrissy Robinson (Lusby, Md./Patuxent) both qualified for the ECAC's with throws of 14.02m (46'0") and 13.51m (44'4"), respectively.
For the men, junior Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) impressed in his first meet as well, slotting his name at ninth on the school's list with his run in the 60m dash finals (6.93) while qualifying for the IC4A Championships.
Freshman Kyle Mitchell (Laurel, Md./Reservoir) joined in the newcomer party claiming eighth on UMBC's all-time list, running a 8.52 in the 60m hurdles.
In the high jump, sophomore Mo Drammeh (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) picked up where he finished his rookie campaign, taking the victory in the competition with a jump of 1.96m (6'5").
Both the men's and women's teams are now off from competition for the remainder of the 2011 calendar year. The Retrievers return to the track on Jan. 7 when they travel to State College, Pa. for the Penn State Relays.