BALTIMORE – For the first time this indoor season, the UMBC track and field team will split up in order to participate in two meets. An elite group of Retrievers whom have met high qualifying standards will travel to back to State College, Pa. for the Penn State National Invitational while the bulk of the team will head to Northern Virginia for the George Mason Patriot Games. The two-day Penn State meet kicks off on Friday, Jan. 25 and runs through Saturday with the Patriot Games taking place only on Saturday.
A trio of school record holders lead the Retrievers back to Penn State. Seniors Cameron McDearmon (Owings Mills, Md./Franklin) and Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone) head the men's contingent with sophomore Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) pacing the women.
McDearmon, who set the school record in the weight throw last year at the Lafayette/Rider Winter Game with a toss of 18.83m (61'9.50"), earned his first win of the season at last week's Terrapin Invitational. The senior bested the field with a heave of 18.38m (54'7.50") and gained a spot at the IC4A meet in March.
Joining McDearmon in the throws, newcomers Yao Adantor (Laurel, Md./Reservoir/Morgan St./Maryland) and Thor Serafenas look to improve upon season-bests set last week in Landover. Adantor recorded a new weight throw best with a distance of 15.99m (52'5.50") while Serafenas set new bests in both events.
Senior Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) will represent the women in the throwing circle. The three-time indoor shot put champion currently holds the top toss in the conference (13.87m; 45'6.25") in the event and ranks third in the weight throw (15.80m; 51'10.00").
Also in the field events, senior Shioma Obemeata (New Rochelle, N.Y./Iona Prep/St. Francis) looks to break the 49-foot mark in the triple jump after leaping a career-best 48'3.25" (14.71m) at the Gotham Cup two weeks ago.
On the track, Proctor continued his hot form in the 60m hurdles last weekend, once again finishing in under eight seconds (7.99) en route to a second place finish. Two weeks ago at the Gotham Cup, the two-time America East indoor champion became the first Retriever to ever go under the eight-second mark with a new school record time of 7.89, which also ranks as the top time in the conference this season.
Leading the women, Jackson has won the 60m dash three times already this season. In addition, she broke her own school record in the event which stands at 7.42 after winning at the Penn State Relays.
Also a conference top-time holder, senior Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) returns to the Keystone State behind a season-best time of 6.88 which he set on the same Penn State track. This past weekend he earned a fourth place finish at the Terrapin Invite.
In the mid-distance, junior Kirsten Jones (Brentwood, Tenn./M.L.K Magnet) ranks in the top-five in the America East in the 200, 400, and 500m events already this year. Teammate Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara) sits just ahead of Jones in the 200 and 400 while holding a top-20 spot in the 800m.
Reigning America East Track Athlete of the Week Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) also heads to Penn State, this after winning the 800m run in a conference-best time of 1:54.66. Junior Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) and sophomore Sarah Daly (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion) pace the women after both earning top-ten finishes in the event at the Terrapin Invite.
Heading to Northern Virginia, freshman Vincent Rentzsch (Oranienburg, Germany) will continue his preparation for the multi-event competition at the conference meet.