Omar Breaks Another School Record as Retrievers Place Ninth at NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals for First-Ever Top-Ten Finish

Omar Breaks Another School Record as Retrievers Place Ninth at NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals for First-Ever Top-Ten Finish

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – UMBC sophomore Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) claimed another school record and led the Retrievers for the third consecutive competition, and fourth time this season, as the UMBC men's cross country team placed ninth overall at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals, Friday afternoon at Lehigh's 10k Goodman Course.

Omar placed 22nd overall with a career-best time of 30:30 and was named to the Mid-Atlantic Region Team.  He bested the previous school record of 31:23 set by Anthony Kelhower during the 2007 NCAA regional meet, which was also held at Lehigh.  The school record is the second for the sophomore who gained the top UMBC time at the 8k distance earlier this season with a time of 24:21 at the Princeton Invitational.

The ninth-place team finish is the first top-ten placing for UMBC in program history.  Last year, the Retrievers earned their top team finish under head coach Matt Gittermann, finishing 12th.  UMBC entered the race ranked tenth in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Mid-Atlantic Rankings.

Villanova (34 pts.) earned the team title, led by a one-two finish from Patrick Tiernan (29:37) and Sam McEntee (29:44).  Princeton (60 pts.) finished second led by Tyler Udlan's sixth-place finish with Georgetown (63 pts.) in third, led by Andrew Springer, who placed third.

Behind Omar, senior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) earned a top-50 spot, completing the 10k course with a time of 31:17, also breaking the school mark, to move to second in UMBC history.  Classmate Vinny DiSalvo (Washingtonville, N.Y./Washingtonville) was 11 spots back in 55th, but only 15 seconds behind (31:32), with Brandan McGee (Hiram, Ohio/Crestwood) finishing ten seconds later (31:42) in 63rd.  Sophomore Austin Hayslett (Mount Airy, Md./Urbana) competed the UMBC scoring squad, finishing 73rd with a time of 32:01.

Just outside of the scoring squad, senior Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley) and junior Eric Schuler (Columbia, Md./Reservoir) were each among the first 100 athletes across the line.  Albino finished 75th with a time of 32:02 and Schuler finished 94th in a time of 32:26.

Dawg Bites

-          Led by Omar's school record time, four Retrievers set personal-bests at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals.

-          Omar, Smith, and DiSalvo all surpassed the previous school record set by Kelhower.

-          The Villanova men and women swept the team titles.