The Retrievers capped off one of the most successful seasons of indoor track in school history this past winter by finishing second on the Women’s side and third on the Men’s side. In addition, athletes demolished school records and potentially set the school mark for number of individual championships won at a single Conference meet. Finally, Mercedes Jackson put an exclamation mark on the season by becoming only the fourth Retriever to make it to the NCAA Championship Meet. As the spring takes hold of the Mid-Atlantic, the teams switch over to the outdoor track season which brings with it new events and the element of Mother Nature. Some athletes who had fringe roles during the indoor season will take the spotlight as their true events begin. Other athletes will be returning from injuries that kept them out of the indoor campaign. And in the end, every athlete gets to start the season anew, carrying over the momentum from indoors, or cleaning the slate all together. With only a couple days until the season begins we hope to get you caught up on all the changes before the Retrievers open up at the Florida State University Relays.
Friday, March 29th, 2013 Track & Field Banquet The Track and Field Banquet is a new event designed to bring together alumni, current team members, and future members of the UMBC Cross Country and Track & Field Teams. It is a great opportunity to reconnect with old teammates, network with other alumni, and meet the current team and coaching staff.
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Saturday, March 30th, 2013 Big Dawg Invite After a ten year absence, the Big Dawg Invite returns to the campus of UMBC with a slate of teams including Duquesne, Bucknell, Delaware State and many others. Coupled with the banquet, it’s a great weekend to come back to your alma mater
America East Championships: David Bobb, Shannon Flowers, Matt Gittermann, Peter Koumlelis, Thomas Thompson, Brian Pendleton, Nick Burnett, and Kadine Johnson named AEC Staff of the Year Amanda Deller wins both the shot put and the weight throw, en route to her second consecutive Field Performer of the Year Award Mercedes Jackson wins both the 60m Dash and the 200m Dash to win the Track Athlete of the Year Award Denny Long wins both the 60m Dash and the 200m Dash to win the Track Athlete of the Year Award Thor Serafenas placed fourth in the weight throw and fifth in the shot put Ebonique Jones finished second in the Long Jump Hassan Omar finished fifth in the 5,000 meters Jake Albino, Nick Johnson, Andrew Keresztes, and Andrew Smith combine to the win the 4x800 meter relay Paulette Fogle, Kalane Abbey, D’Nique Phillip, and Kirsten Jones combine to the win the 4x400 meter relay Nneoma Edokobi finished third in the shot put Yao Adantor set a school record in the shot put (54-1.75) to finish second Shioma Obemeata set a person best in the triple jump to win the Conference title Andrew Smith won the 800 meters Andrew Keresztes finished second in the 1,000 meters Trae Proctor set a school record in the 60m Hurdles (7.87) to win his third consecutive Conference title Mary Katherine Kulp finishes fourth in the 1,000 meters Cody Mezebish finishes third in the 800 meters Paulette Fogle won the 500 meter dash IC4A/ECAC Championships: Kirsten Jones sets a school record in the 400 meter dash (55.80) and moves up to #3 All Time in the 200 meter dash (24.52) Kirsten Jones , Kalane Abbey, D’Nique Phillip, and Paulette Fogle combine to set a school record in the 4x400m (3:44.06) and advanced to the finals Sarah Daly sets a school record in the 800 meter run in 2:12.65 Denny Long runs a #3 All Time 21.57 in the 200 meter dash and #4 All Time in the 60 meter dash (6.86) Andrew Keresztes runs a #2 All Time 2:26.77 in the 1000 meters Trae Proctor finished fifth in the 60m Hurdles Amanda Delller finished fourth in the shot put
Mercedes Jackson Advances to the NCAA Championship: One had to appreciate the full circle aspect of the pairing of Coach David Bobb and sophomore Mercedes Jackson after she qualified for the NCAA Divison I National Championships in the 60 meter dash. Bobb was the first UMBC Track and Field athlete to qualify for the National meet, and it was only fitting that he be the coach at the helm this time around for UMBC’s latest National qualifier. A mid-season meet in State College as part of the Penn State National Invite was both the catalyst and the tipping point. At that meet Jackson set her personal best, 7.34, which is the mark that carried her into preliminarily qualifying. However, it is believed that her 7.39 that she ran in the semi-finals that ended up being the tie-breaker that ensured her entry. She made the best of her first opportunity, improving upon her th seed to finish 13 in the qualifying rounds. Her efforts garnered her a Second Team All-American Award. With two seasons to go to build off that success, the future looks bright.
Head Track & Field Coach firstname.lastname@example.org 410-455-6588
Head Cross Country Coach email@example.com 410-455-1324
Assistant Track & Field Coach firstname.lastname@example.org 410-455-1282
Athlete in Focus: 1.
As a sophomore you won both the Indoor 60m and Outdoor 110m hurdles titles. Then last year you won the indoor title again, but an injury kept you from competing during the outdoor season. Having come so far from your sophomore year to your junior year and then not running outdoors. And having come so far from last year's indoor season, what are you expectations for this outdoor season? Coming into this outdoor season I’m expecting to run under 14 seconds in the 110 meter hurdles. The closer I get to the sub 14 mark the better my chances to make it all the way to nationals, my goal is at least 13.80, every year that time seams to make its way to Nationals. Do you have any concerns entering outdoor having not run in two years? Having been off for more than a year I’m not really sure what is going to happen, I’m pretty nervous. I catch myself sitting in class rooms before class comparing runners who run the same indoor time as mine and looking at their outdoor times. I crunch the numbers daily because I’m so anxious to see what the season will bring. Having been in the ballpark of advancing to the National meet during the indoor season, what adjustments do you need to make as you head from the 60m hurdles to the 110 hurdles? After missing the mark to make it to nationals in indoor I’ve gone back to look and see where I could’ve worked harder. I could’ve stayed in the weight room more during the season so I could’ve had the power out of the blocks. I need to continue to gain confidence in my start so that I don’t worry about it while I’m on the line ready to race. Also I will continue to work on my technique, staying aggressive, using my arms, and increasing my overall speed. How does the addition of the preliminary rounds (as opposed to a descending order selection list) help your chances to make Nationals? In outdoor twelve people make it from the east and the west, so the number of runners able to qualify for Nationals jumps from 16 to 24. If I continue to improve, my chances to qualify for nationals will be very likely. In a perfect world how do you see the outdoor season going? In a perfect world this outdoor season will go very well. I will open up in the low 14 second range and hopefully, by the third meet, break 14 once I’m in shape for the longer race and have the race back down. I’ll be able to represent UMBC at the Penn Relays in an individual event. Hopefully I can repeat my title in the 110 hurdles. It would be great to qualify for regionals and place within the top 24 to represent UMBC at the NCAA Outdoor Nationals
For the women, it a matter of depth, upon depth, upon depth in various events across the spectrum. While the obvious component is the high likelihood of Mercedes Jackson sweeping the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes at the Conference meet, that shouldn’t overshadow the waves of scorers that will be in support. In the 100 meter dash, sophomore Ebonique Jones should be factor on the podium after finishing fourth in the indoor 60 meter dash. However, the 200 meter dash might be the roughest events for other Conference teams with Jackson and Jones meeting up with Kirsten Jones in the middle event for the sprints. In addition to setting the school record in the 400 meter dash during the indoor season, she lowered her 200 meter time to 24.52 at the ECAC Championships, good enough for the third fastest time in the Conference. Range will be shown by freshman D’Nique Phillip, whose solid indoor campaign suggests the ability to score in the 100 meters all the way up to the 400 meters. In the hurdles expect Chowan Brightful to be back in the thick of it in the 100 meter hurdles after injuries curtailed her indoor season. Last season she moved up to #2 All Time in UMBC history in the short hurdle event behind school record holder Imani Colbert. In the 400 meter hurdles, 500 meter indoor champion and school record holder Paulette Fogle must be considered a factor in the event for the Conference Championship. During the indoor season, the 4x400 meter relay decimated the school record, lowering it by four seconds, and putting it underneath the current Outdoor Track School Record. Most likely it will fall upon familiar shoulders (K. Jones, Fogle, Phillip, and Abbey) to take it to the next level and garner a spot at the NCAA East Region meet. With the return to outdoor, the Retrievers gain back the 4x100 meter relay, an event in which they won a Conference Championship in last year. With a possible team of Jackson, Ebonique Jones, Phillip and either freshman Tessa Seale or returners Briana Young and Blossom Metevier amongst others, the team should repeat as Conference Champions. The men will be led by double Conference winner and AEC Indoor Track Performer of the Year Denny Long. Indoors Denny Long moved up to #4 in the 60 meter dash and #3 in the indoor 200 meter dash. However, this will be Long’s first outdoor season since 2011 due to injuries, but with the momentum he has built up already, it should be his best outdoor yet. The hurdles should also provide excitement as Trae Proctor will compete for his fifth consecutive AEC title in the short hurdles. However he has higher goals (see above) that will bring him to the threshold of 14 seconds or less and another run at the National meet. Depth in the hurdles should come from John Ryback who missed the bulk of the indoor season but has been a Conference scorer in year’s past. In the short sprints, look for Pat Balderson and Dosu Teyibo to try to repeat their finals qualifying performance from the indoor 60 meter dash at the America East meet. The 400 meters will be anchored by freshman Niko Coaxum who led the Retrievers during the indoor season in the 400 meters and 500 meters.
Things to Watch For This Season:
For Trae Proctor the 8.00 second barrier was the goal indoors, now he looks to be the first Retriever to go below the 14.00 second barrier in the 110 Meter Hurdles. 11.49 was the last qualifier in to the Women’s National Meet last year. Mercedes Jackson finished last year at 11.66. She managed to drop .14 in her 60 meter dash this year. Paulette Fogle set the school mark in the 400 meter hurdles last year, and will look to be the first under the one minute barrier in school history
This past indoor season represented one of the best team efforts from start to finish in the school’s history for the women’s distance squad. Top ten times were set in each individual event in addition to two school records, including the first women’s Distance Medley Relay to qualify for the ECAC Championships. Leading the way were three veterans who aim to make an impact in the 800 meters in the spring. Junior Cody Mezebish was named All-Conference in the 800 meters after finishing third at the America East Conference Championships while Sarah Daly broke the school record in the 800 meters. Add in sophomore MK Kulp who raced to a fourth place finish in the 1,000 meter dash and there is now great depth in the 800 meters. Another strong event will be in the 10,000 meters where sophomore Julie Gessler and two freshmen, Harmony Roche and Nicole Dawson looked poised to score in the longest event on the track. Also watch out for freshman Angel Bucci who recorded top ten times in the mile and the 3,000 meters during indoor and looks to join the three 10k runners on the All Time 5k list by season’s end. The strongest events for the men appear to be the steeplechase and the 10,000 meters, especially with the return of Brandan McGee, the returning Conference champion in the steeple. Joining him in the most arduous event on the track will be junior Vinny DiSalvo (who nearly missed out on IC4A qualifying his freshmen year and was injured last year) and freshmen Redatu Semeon who could make an immediate impact. The 10k will be anchored by Todd Cowing and Tommy Eldridge who both recorded Top 10 All Time performances last year and could see immediate dividends from junior transfer Noah Hutton and freshman Hassan Omar. More fireworks should come in the mid-distance events with IC4A qualifiers Andrew Smith and Andrew Keresztes leading the way. Smith will look to defend his Conference title in the 800 meters at the America East Meet. Andrew Keresztes finished out the season by making the final of the 1,000 meters at the IC4A meet after a runner–up finish at the AEC meet. Keresztes will most likely team with Jake Albino in the 1500 meters to add some depth to the event. Last year Albino finished fourth in the third fastest time in school history of 3:51.33.
Things to Watch For This Season:
Athlete In Focus: 1.
Cody Mezebish and Sarah Daly formed a formidable duo in the 800 meters. Together they should both make a run at the school record and NCAA East Region bids Brandan McGee returns from an injury after being All Conference in Cross Country and winning the steeplechase last year at the AEC meet The steeple and 10k on the men’s side look to be the marquee events with as many three people in contention for points in each
Having been on many school record relays, relays that almost pulled off the Conference title, and been Top 4 on numerous occasions, what were your initial thoughts after winning the 800 meters and anchoring a 4x800m that ran away with a Conference Title? My initial thoughts after winning the 800 were of relief and joy. I had finally achieved a goal I had wanted to obtain since freshman year of college, and it certainly felt good. And after winning the 800, I was excited and ready to run the 4x8. Winning a Conference Title really boosted my confidence for the 4x8 which had had some trouble with injuries, so I was ready to go. With such a successful indoor season, what are you goals as you head into the spring season? Going into the spring season I would like to repeat as champion in both the 8 and the 4x8 at conferences, and I see no reason why it shouldn't happen. Breaking the school record in the 800, hopefully dropping below the 1:50 barrier in the process, and getting the school record in the 4x8 are also on my list of things to do. You have mentioned on numerous occasions that you enjoy running "trials" in the Outdoor Conference Championships. This is an aspect that is missing from the Indoor Meet and one that most deplore. Why do you enjoy running "trials"? I enjoy running trials for a couple of reasons, you get to see who is running in the finals before you get to the finals, and because of that you get to feel out the competition and see who is running well and who is not, you also get to run a race and feel out where you are the day before the finals. It is also nice if you have lots of nerves to get some of them out of the way before the finals Having been a freshman when Michael Christmas set the school marks in the indoor and outdoor 800 meters, did that experience have an impact on you? Running with Michael Christmas definitely had an impact on me. In high school I did not have anyone to look up to my entire time I was there, so I was a loner in a sense with only me to push myself. Freshman year however, I got to work out with someone who was better than me, and was much more experienced in college running. Running with him made me push myself harder than I have before, and made me want to work harder so I could try and beat him.
Throws: There are two stories on the women’s side, with the obvious one being the last season for Amanda, one of the most decorated athletes in school history. With one last shot put title to contend for, Deller will be looking to see if she can grab a couple more in the process in either the discus or the hammer throw. The other story revolves around a supporting cast that is quickly improving and adding depth to all the events. The freshmen duo of Nneoma Edokobi and Jenn Nelson, teaming with junior Emma Mayne, all scored points in at least one of the throwing events at the indoor Conference meet. And with more familiarity with the new events, there should be big jumps in performances. The men have a mission and that mission is to take down all the records on the men’s side, potentially within the first couple meets. In the shot, indoor Record Holder Yao Adantor finished second in the Conference but set the school mark with a 54’-1.75” toss, which currently is two and a half feet farther than the current outdoor mark. Fellow transfer Thor Serafenas has his sights set on the hammer record, bringing with him a mark from two years ago that is only feet off the current record. The javelin is probably one throw away from existing when freshman Vincent Rentzsch steps onto the runway. His personal best throw is a massive thirty feet past the current mark and should be the first Retriever over two hundred feet. Add in sophomore Nnamdhi Edokobi, and the crew as a whole will make a push for the discus mark. Jumps, Vaults, and Multi's: With a Conference title under his belt, senior Shioma Obemeata can now focus on bigger and better goals such as joining Victor Gilreath as the only UMBC athletes over fifty feet in the triple jump. Junior Mo Drammeh will look to regain his high jumping form and garner his first IC4A Outdoor Qualification in the event. Obemeata, coupled with Rentzsch and Dosu Teyibo, will all strive to break into the scoring in the long jump. In the pole vault, Liam Stott set a personal best mark to nab a point in the indoor Conference meet, and will join Sean Kshmetski in hopes of adding depth to the event. The women’s long jump will be helmed by Ebonique Jones who took second Indoors and is in range of potentially breaking the school record in the event. The triple jump will see freshman Caitlyn Davis return after sitting out indoors with an injury. She will also join school record holder Laura Walker in the pole vault giving the Retrievers two athletes who can mix it up in the scoring. Decathlon duties will be headed up by junior John Ryback, who battled injuries for the past couple season
Things to Watch For This Season:
How many attempts will it take freshman Vincent Rentzsch to break the school mark in the javelin. Already arriving with marks tens of feet beyond the current record, it might only be a few. Coupled with Rentzsch, transfers Yao Adantor and Thor Serafenas will put the remaining throwing records on notice With a Conference title under his belt, Shioma Obemeata will look to be only the second Retriever to surpass fifty feet in the triple