COLUMBIA, S.C. – Multiple UMBC track and field freshmen impressed once again as both the men's and women's teams opened the 2012 outdoor season at the two-day Weems Baskin Invitational on the campus of the University of South Carolina on Friday and Saturday.
Coming off of a third place finish at the America East Indoor Championships, the women's team shined for UMBC at the invitational with multiple athletes placing their names in the record book and picking up top-20 finishes.
Besting her showing at her first indoor meet in December, freshman Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) broke two UMBC school records in her initial outdoor collegiate meet. Claiming second place in both the 100m (11.81) and 200m dash (24.05), Jackson kicked off the outdoor season by smashing the two Retriever marks. Beverly Ruffin had previously set the 100m record back in 1997 with a time of 11.90 while Britney Foreman broke a 25-year old mark in the 200m two years ago (2010) with a mark of 24.41. Jackson now owns two indoor (60m and 200m) and two outdoor records.
Fellow freshman Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara) was impressive as well, jumping to third on the school's all-time list with a time of 1:03.87 in the 400m hurdles to place eighth at the meet.
In the 100m hurdles, junior Chowan Brightful (New Market, Md./Linganore) moved into third on UMBC's all-time list by finishing sixth in South Carolina with a time of 14.53. Senior Imani Colbert (Upper Marlboro, Md./C.H. Flowers), who holds the school record, finished tenth over the weekend in a time of 14.97.
Throwers Chrissy Robinson (Lusby, Md./Patuxent) and Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) each set personal-bests in the hammer throw in the Palmetto State. Robinson jumped over Deller with a toss of 43.91m (144'1") to take fourth while Deller slides to fifth after posting a mark of 42.62m (139'10").
For the men, mid-year transfer Chris Nash (Parkton, Md./Hereford) continues to make a mark at UMBC and now ranks eighth in school history in the hammer throw after a throw of 46.27m (151'10") at the invitational.
Freshman Malte Bertram (Einbeck, Germany/Goethschule Gymnasium) also jumped onto the school's top-ten list, placing seventh, with a mark of 45.73m (150'00") in the javelin.
UMBC now has the week off from competition before returning to the track for the Maryland Invitational in College Park on Mar. 31.