New York State of Mind: Retrievers Head to the Big Apple for Metro Team Challenge

New York State of Mind: Retrievers Head to the Big Apple for Metro Team Challenge

Meet Info | The Armory 

Baltimore, Md.—The UMBC track and field team heads to New York, N.Y. to take part in the Metro Team Challenge on Friday. Several Retrievers have qualified for ECAC/IC4A competition, as new school records fell last weekend.

About the Metro Team Challenge:

WHERE: The New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory- New York, N.Y.

WHEN: Friday, January 23, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

SOCIAL MEDIA: #armory, #armory-track, #metro-team-challenge #UMBCgrit

Last Week at the Terrapin Invite :

A quartet of UMBC men finished in the top five of the 400m dash. Erick Soetje finished second in the event, with a time of 50.28. Niko Coaxum (3rd, 51.35), John Oputa(4th, 51.42), and Darrius Oxley (5th, 51.66) rounded out the top finishers in the event for the Retrievers.

James Oakley III took home a second place finish in the 200m dash, crossing the tape in 22.69. Other top UMBC finishers included Austin Hayslett, who finished third in the 5000m run (15:36.17), and Ehab Abutaleb who finished the 60m hurdles in fifth (9.08).

The Retrievers were led by another strong performance by Yao Adantor. The senior tossed a 16.98m in the shot put, which shattered his previous school record of 16.88m. The throw by Yao also qualifies him for a spot in the ECAC/IC4A championship later this winter. Thor Serafenas took gold in the weighted throw, tossing a 16.28m.

On the women's side, Julie Gessler and Paulette Fogle each took home victories in the 5000m and 400m respectively. Gessler crossed the tape in a time of 17:42.90, a personal record for Julie. Paulette won the 400m dash in 57.41.

The 4x400m relay squad took home second place with a time of 3:54.58. The quartet was made up of Fogle, Kalane' Abbey, Funmi Daramola, and Briana Young.

Two Retriever women qualified for ECAC/IC4A competition as well. Mercedes Jackson took second in the 60m dash in a time of 7.61, while Alisha Beeman finished fourth in the high jump, with a jump of 1.71m.

Last Year at the Metro Team Challenge:

After missing out on the school record in the 1,000m last week by just .02, senior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) took hold of the 800m Retriever record by winning the event in New York with a time of 1:51.30.  His time is over a second improvement from his previous best (1:52.92), set during his sophomore season, and eclipses Michael Christmas' mark of 1:52.78 set during the 2010-11 season.  Having already qualified for the IC4A meet to be held in March, Smith's time from New York meets the regional standard as well.

Junior Charles Bolinger (Bowie, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) finished tenth in the event with a season-best time of 1:56.35.

The Retriever distance crew shined at the Armory as sophomore Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) also broke a school record on Friday, claiming the top spot in the 3,000m run.  Omar slotted his name at the top of the list for the event by pacing the field with a time of 8:23.50 to slide past Greg Saylor's 2004 time of 8:26.00 and meet the IC4A standard.  Senior Tom Eldridge (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River) was not far back for UMBC, finishing fourth with a personal-best time of 8:38.24.

Two Retrievers set new personal-bests in the pole vault as senior Liam Stott (Carrboro, N.C./Chapel Hill) cleared 4.45m (14'7.00") and sophomore Caitlyn Davis (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) cleared 3.15m (10'4.00").  Stott takes over tenth all-time while Davis moves up to second in the women's top-ten.

Junior Thor Serafenas (Olney, Md./Good Counsel/Clemson) recorded a season-best in the weight throw with a toss of 15.91m (52'2.50").

For the Retriever women on the track, junior Kalane' Abbey (Laurel, Md./Laurel), senior Kirsten Jones (Brentwood, Tenn./M.L.K. Magnet), and junior Sarah Daly (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion) all claimed event wins for the Retrievers.

Abbey posted a season-best time of 58.12 to win the 400m dash while Jones took the 500m title with a personal-best time of 1:14.54, which ranks third in Retrievers history.  In addition, Jones placed third in the 200m with a time of 25.34.  Junior Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara) and senior Deborah Adelola (Lanham, Md./Bladensburg) also finished in the top-ten in the 500m, taking third and seventh, respectively.

Sophomore Angelina Oputa (Bowie, Md./Elizabeth Seton) and senior Kirsten McGovern (Sykesville, Md./Century) also broke into the top-ten in the Big Apple.  Oputa set a career-best of 5:14.99 in the mile while McGovern registered a top-time of 10:24.53 in the 3,000m run.

In the sprints, junior Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) led a trio of Retrievers into the finals of the 60m dash, eventually taking second place.  Sophomore D'Nique Phillip (Elkton, Md./North East) took fifth while freshman Nailah Johnson (Capitol Heights, Md.) placed seventh.

Up Next for the Retrievers:

UMBC will head back to Happy Valley for the Penn State National Open on January 30-31. The Retrievers will also take part in the Patriot Games, hosted by George Mason University on January 31.