Jackson and Rentzsch Fly West to Oregon to Represent UMBC at NCAA Championships

Sophomore Mercedes Jackson
Sophomore Mercedes Jackson

BALTIMORE – Sophomore Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) and freshman Vincent Rentzsch (Oranienburg, Germany) fly west to become the first Retriever pair to compete at the same NCAA track and field championships when the national outdoor meet begins on Wednesday, June 5 at the University of Oregon.  The four-day meet opens at Hayward Field on Wednesday with the women's hammer throw at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 PT and closes on Saturday evening following the 4x400 relays. 

The afternoon portions of the meet will be streamed on the Oregon/Pac-12 Network while the evening sessions on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday can be seen on ESPNU or ESPN3.

The two athletes are the fourth and fifth Retrievers to ever compete at the national meet following current in the footsteps of current head coach David BobbCleopatra Borel, and Huguens Jean.  In addition, Jackson is the second UMBC athlete to compete in two NCAA meets, and both the indoor and outdoor championships in the same year after Bobb did so in 1997.

Jackson heads to the West Coast for her second straight NCAA meet after competing in the 60m dash at the indoor championships and earning a spot on the All-America Second Team.  The sophomore sprinter will race in the 100m dash preliminaries on Wednesday which is set for an 8:30 p.m. ET start.  Jackson is scheduled to run in heat two of three with her seed time of 11.53 ranking 13th overall in the national field.  To reach Friday's finals, Jackson must place in the top two in her heat, or have one of the two-fastest times of the remaining competitors.

The America East champion in the event, Jackson also claimed the ECAC title at Princeton in mid-May during her qualification for the NCAA East Regionals.  At the regional meet in North Carolina two weeks ago, Jackson clipped her school-record time down to 11.46 in the prelims to advance to the event finals.  In the final round, the sophomore placed third in her heat earn a spot at the NCAA meet.

Rentzsch will compete in the javelin competition on the final day of the meet, Saturday, following an impressive freshman season.  Competing in flight one of two, Rentzsch holds the seventh-best toss of his flight (out of 12) and the 13th-best overall at 70.88m (232'6") which he set at the NCAA East meet.  The top-nine distances move on to the finals which commence 20 minutes after the prelim round.

In just his first season with the Retrievers, Rentzsch has impressed from the start.  In his very first meet in the Black and Gold, the rookie broke the school record in the javelin at the Florida State Relays.  A week later he reset the record in his first home meet, the Big Dawg Invitational, and then went on to do so two more times during the invitational season.  At the America East Championships, the freshman won both the javelin event and the decathlon.  After competing at the IC4A meet, Rentzsch traveled down to North Carolina A&T for the NCAA regional meet and advanced to the finals after bettering his school record distance to 67.41m (221'2"). Then on his final throw of the competition, Rentzsch recorded his best-ever toss to jump from 15th to fifth and earn a trip to Oregon.