BALTIMORE – With just two weeks left before the America East Championships in Vestal, N.Y., the UMBC track and field teams travel across town for the two-day Morgan State Legacy Meet at Hughes Stadium. The meet is set to begin on Friday with the decathlon and men's javelin kicking-off at 12:00 p.m. Saturday will start at 9:30 a.m. with the decathlon once again starting things off.
This past week after competing at the Mason Spring Invitational, the UMBC men's team jumped three places in the USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Region Rankings and now sits 12th in the area. The Retrievers are led by a group of five athletes whom all rank in the top-ten in the region in an event.
After garnering the Most Outstanding Male Track Athlete Award at the America East Indoor Championships, senior Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) has continued his form outside. He leads the Mid-Atlantic in both the 100- and 200-meter dash events with his 100m time (10.39) also heading the conference. In addition, Long currently ranks 20th in the NCAA East Region in the 100m and 32nd in the 200m.
Last week in Virginia, senior Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone) broke the 38-year old school record in the 110m hurdles. Proctor took third in the event with a time of 14.12 which ranks second in the conference, third in the Mid-Atlantic, and 31st in the East.
In the throws, junior Yao Adantor (Laurel, Md./Morgan St./Maryland), sophomore Thor Serafenas (Olney, Md./Good Counsel/Clemson), and freshman Vincent Rentzsch (Oranienburg, Germany) have all stepped up for the Retrievers in their first year in Baltimore, each breaking a school record.
Adantor staked claim to the shot put record with a heave of 16.55m (54'3.75") at the Big Dawg Invitational on Mar. 30. This mark slots him in the top-ten in both the America East (3rd) and Mid-Atlantic (6th) while holding 52nd in the East region. He also ranks third in the conference in the discus (45.51m, 149'4") and seventh in the hammer (48.83m, 160'2").
Serafenas also set a school mark while competing at the Big Dawg Invite, taking over the top-distance in the hammer. His toss of 56.85m (186'6") won the event and places him second in the America East and third in the Mid-Atlantic. Serafenas is also among the top-ten in the league for the discus (3rd) and the shot put (6th).
Just a freshman, Rentzsch broke the UMBC javelin record in his very first outdoor meet, the Florida State Relays on Mar. 22. Since then he has set a new best two more times with his career-long throw of 63.47m (208'3") last week at George Mason taking the lead in the America East slotting him eighth in the region.
In the mid-distance, junior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) and freshman Andrew Keresztes (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Port Jefferson) have each set career-bests the last two weeks in the 800m run and rank second and fifth, respectively, in the conference.
Sophomore starlet Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) continues to lead the women's squad which sits 21st in the Mid-Atlantic. Jackson has already broken her school record in the 100m dash twice this season, with her latest run at the Mason Spring Invite trimming her time to 11.57. In addition to her school-record time of 23.60 in the 200m from the Big Dawg Invitational, Jackson leads the conference, ranks third in the Mid-Atlantic, and ties for 19th in the East region in both races.
Freshman D'Nique Phillip (Elkton, Md.) will compete in both races as well this weekend and enters the Morgan State meet seventh in the league in the 100m (12.19) and third in the 200m (24.51). Junior Kirsten Jones (Brentwood,Tenn./M.L.K. Magnet) will join Jackson and Phillip in the 200 where she currently holds the fourth-fastest time in the conference, in addition to running the 400.
Sophomore Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara) has been in top form recently, breaking her own school record in the 400m hurdles each of the last two weeks. At the Duke Invitational she lowered it to 1:01.64 and then edged it even further during her seventh-place run of 1:01.59 last week at George Mason.
Senior Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) will return this weekend to lead the Retrievers in the throws. A three-time conference champion in the shot put, Deller's top toss of the spring came at the Big Dawg Invitational (13.57m (44'6.25"). She ranks second in the America East in the hammer throw with her heave of 47.19m (154'10") at the season-opening Florida State Relays.