Track and Field Opens 2013 at Penn State Relays on Saturday

Sophomore Mercedes Jackson
Sophomore Mercedes Jackson

BALTIMORE – After a month off from competition, the UMBC track and field teams open the 2013 calendar year on Saturday at the Penn State Relays.  The Retrievers started their indoor season back on Dec. 1 at the Bison Opener at Bucknell University.

At the Bison Opener, the Retrievers picked up three wins, led by sophomore Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown), who broke her own school record with a time of 7.47 in the 60m dash.  Senior Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) and sophomore Ebonique Jones (New Castle, Del./William Penn) earned wins with Deller sweeping the throwing events and Jones capturing the long jump.

In the distance events, sophomore Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara) and freshman Lynne Deckel (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn) finished second and fourth, respectively in the 800m run while sophomore Alyse Gibson (Columbia, Md./Reservoir) and Mary Katherine Kulp (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) earned top-five finishes in the 3,000m run.

For the men, junior Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone) looks to repeat in the 60m hurdles at Penn State.  Last year, he won the event with a personal-best time of 8.03 and later lowered the mark to 8.02 at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational.  Proctor kicked off the 2012-13 season with a second place finish (8.03) at the Bison Opener.

Junior transfer Yao Adantor (Laurel, Md./Reservoir/Morgan St./Maryland) had a successful debut for the Retrievers, qualifying for the IC4A meet in the shot put with a personal-best toss of 15.74m (51'7.75") at Bucknell.  This distance lands second on UMBC's all-time list while his weight throw mark of 15.23m (49'11.75") slots ninth.

The Retrievers registered two second-place finishes in the jumps as senior Shioma Obemeata (New Rochelle, N.Y./Iona Prep/St. Francis) and junior Mo Drammeh (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) competed in the triple jump and high jump, respectively.  Obemeata recorded a leap of 14.40m (47'3.0") while Drammeh cleared 1.94m (6'4.25").

UMBC opened well on the track as well, earning multiple top-five finishes in the distance events. Freshmen Redatu Semeon (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone) and Ben Pickett (Abingdon, Md./John Carroll) finished second and fourth in the 3,000m run.  In addition, classmate Andrew Keresztes (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Port Jefferson) and junior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) placed 2-3 in the mile.

For the Penn State meet, the entire distance team is expected to compete after resting from the cross country season.