CAMBRIDGE, MASS. – The UMBC men's indoor track and field team was picked to finish fourth in the America East this year, while the women's team was picked to finish seventh, the conference announced on Wednesday. The Retrievers begin their 2011-12 season this weekend at the Bison Opener at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa.
Coming off of a fourth place finish a year ago at the conference meet, the men will look to a deep roster to improve. Last year's 60m hurdle champion, junior Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone), will be looked upon to carry to weight in the sprints, while senior Josh Hewitson (New Market, Md./Linganore) leads the mid-distance class. At last year's meet, Hewitson just missed in the 500m dash, picking up a silver medal.
In the longer runs, the Retrievers hope to build on some valuable experience gained a year ago. Sophomores Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) and Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley) look to improve upon 6th and 11th place finishes in the 800m. Meanwhile brothers Roy and Tim Jones (New Market,Md./Linganore)return along with sophomore Brandan McGee (Hiram, Ohio/Crestwood) in the distance runs.
In the throws, UMBC will be led by junior Cameron McDearmon (Owings Mills, Md./Franklin) who placed third in both the shot put and weighted throw at the America East Championships in 2011.
For the jumping events, the Retrievers look to sophomore Mo Drammeh (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) and junior Shioma Obemeata (New Rochelle, N.Y./Iona Preparatory/St. Francis College) to gain points again.
For the women, conference shot put champion Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) returns to lead the way. Looking to build on last season's sixth place finish at the America East Championships, Deller's performance in the shot and in the weight throw will improve those chances.
In the sprints, sophomore Kirsten Jones (Brentwood, Tenn./M.L.K Magnet) returns to try to best last year's performances of a bronze in the 400m dash and seventh in the 200 dash. Also providing points in the sprints will be senior Lauren Laclercq (Jessup, Md./Meade).
After losing two point winners to graduation, senior Keri Wilson (Columbia, Md./Long Reach) will be looked upon to lead the pack in the distance events.
Albany was picked to win both the men's and women's championship for the seventh and third consecutive year, respectively.