Baltimore, Md.—UMBC track and field will head to the Empire State, looking to bring home a conference championship this weekend. At last year's meet, the men finished second while the women took home fourth. Mercedes Jackson took home Most Outstanding Track Performer, as well as the Coaches' Award.
WHAT: 2015 America East Outdoor Track and Field Championships
WHEN: Saturday, May 2- Sunday, May 3
WHERE: University at Albany- Albany, N.Y.
SOCIAL MEDIA: @umbcxctf, @UMBCAthletics, #UMBCgrit, #AETF, #AEChamps
Last Time Out (Penn Relays):
Day One: Paulette Fogle kicked off the relays with a fifteenth place finish in the 400m hurdles, crossing the tape in a time of 1:01.98.
The women's 4x400m relay team of Mercedes Tillman, Fogle, Briana Young and Kalane Abbey placed 23rd in the prelims on Thursday with a time of 3:52.16. That time was good enough to qualify them for the ECAC finals on Saturday.
Hassan Omar lowered his personal best in the 5,000m run, finishing in sixteenth place with a time of 14:18.66.
Day Two: Only a handful of Retrievers took to the track on Friday, one of which being the men's 4x400m relay squad. The team of Darrius Oxley, Erick Soetje, Niko Coaxum, and John Oputa finished in 40th with a time of 3:22.44.
In the field, Yao Adantor took 27th place in the shot put, while teammate Isahq Rana placed 37th. Adantor had his best toss of 16.15m, with Rana throwing 15.52m.
Alisha Beeman was the only other UMBC competitor on the evening, competing in the javelin. Beeman placed seventh with a toss of 43.58m.
Day Three: Two school records fell on the final day of the Penn Relays, one on the track and one in the field. On the track, the quartet of Mary Katherine Kulp, Angelina Oputa, Essence Fredericks, and Sarah Daly took sixth place in the 4x800m relay with a time of 8:54.56. The previous best was 9:02.31 set back in 2003.
Vincent Rentzsch finished fourth in the javelin championship, throw a school record 71.21m (233-7). Vincent broke his previous school record of 70.88m, set back in 2013.
Last Year at America East Championships:
For the second year in a row, the UMBC men's track and field team earned a second-place finish at the America East Outdoor Track and Field Championships as the two-day meet came to a close, Sunday at Vermont's Frank H. Livak Track and Field Facility.
The Retrievers scored 165 points, trailing only conference champion Albany who gained 208 points. Maine (124 pts.), Binghamton (108 pts.), and meet-host Vermont (87 pts.) rounded out the top-five.
In the women's standings, the Great Danes made it a sweep by scoring 195.50 points. Vermont (142.50 pts.), Binghamton (131 pts.), UMBC (129 pts.), and New Hampshire (107 pts.) completed the top spots.
Following the meet, the UMBC men's coaching staff, led by head coach David Bobb, was named the America East Men's Coaching Staff of the Year. In addition, senior Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) and junior Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) were each named the Most Outstanding Track Performer of the Meet with Jackson also winning the women's Coaches' Award for gaining the most points of any individual female athlete.
Jackson, meanwhile, won her ninth career America East gold medal by claiming the 100m dash for the first time in her career. The junior bested the field with a season-best time of 11.60 in the finals as she tries to reach the NCAA Championships for the second straight year. Jackson also gained a silver medal in the 200m dash with a top season time of 23.58. She also led off in the final event of the meet, the 4x400 relay, as the Retriever team of Jackson, senior Kirsten Jones (Brentwood, Tenn./M.L.K. Magnet), junior Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara), and senior Deborah Adelola (Lanham, Md./Bladensburg) won gold with a time of 3:48.20.
The UMBC distance team picked up two individual gold medals as senior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) won the 800m run, completing the season sweep after winning the indoor event in February, and classmate Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley) claimed the 1,500m title. Sophomore Andrew Keresztes(Port Jefferson, N.Y./Port Jefferson), the 2013 champion in the 800m run, placed fourth in the event.