INDIANAPOLIS – Four Retriever athletes are set to represent the UMBC track and field program at next week's NCAA East Preliminaries at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, the NCAA announced in releasing the meet entry lists on Thursday evening.
Seniors Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU), Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone), and Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley), as well as sophomore Vincent Rentzsch (Oranienburg, Germany/Elite Sportschule Potsdam), will all compete for the Black and Gold in the Sunshine State, in an attempt to reach the 2014 NCAA Championships in Oregon.
Long, the repeat winner of the America East Most Outstanding Male Track Athlete award, swept the 100m and 200m dash events for the second straight year at the conference meet back in early May. Last week at the IC4A Championships at Princeton, Long won the 100m dash. He is seeded 26th in the 100m with his top time of 10.36, and 27th in the 200m event with his best time of 20.86. Both times rank second in the UMBC record book behind only current head coach David Bobb.
Proctor will compete in the 110m hurdles in Jacksonville after winning the America East title for the third time in four years, and placing fourth at the IC4A meet. He broke his own school record in the event in April with a time of 13.88, which ranks 17th in the region heading into the prelims.
Smith competed at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships in the 800m run back in March after a record-breaking winter season, and has continued his form outdoors. He claimed the school record in the event at the Mason Spring Invitational in April and has since snapped it twice, including last week at Princeton in the prelims. He then went on to win the gold medal the next day. His top time of 1:48.72 sits 19th in the region as he tries to become the fourth Retriever athlete to qualify for both national meets in a calendar year.
Rentzsch made the trip to Oregon last year after recording a personal-best and school record in his final javelin throw of the NCAA East Preliminaries in Greensboro. The sophomore, who has rested this past month, still ranks 32nd in the East Region with his best season throw of 66.09m (216'10") at the FSU Relays back on March 21.
The 2014 NCAA East Preliminaries will be held at UNF's Hodges Stadium and will begin on Thursday, May 29 with the men's 400m hurdles. The top-12 finishers in each event will automatically move on to the 2014 NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore (June 11-14).