BALTIMORE – After a month away from competition, the UMBC track and field team kicks off the 2014 portion of its indoor schedule on Saturday at the Penn State Relays in University Park, Pa.
The Retrievers opened the indoor season back on Dec. 7 at the Bison Opener at Bucknell. Multiple athletes recorded personal-best performances, led by sophomore Randolph Patrice (Baltimore, Md.) who cracked the UMBC top-ten list in the men's 60m dash. His time of 6.98 qualified him for the IC4A meet to be held in March and leads the America East conference early in the season.
Women's sprinters D'Nique Phillip (Elkton, Md./North East), Nailah Johnson (Capitol Heights, Md.), and Mercedes Tillman (Waldorf, Md./North Point) all advanced to the finals in the 60m dash. Johnson and Tillman, both freshmen, each set career-bests with Tillman claiming a spot in the school's top-ten with her time of 7.96.
After skipping the opener at Bucknell, junior Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown), who qualified for the NCAA Championships last season in the 60m dash, will compete at Penn State in both the 60m and 200m events.
Junior Paulette Fogle (Washington, D.C./Bishop McNamara) will once again have a busy weekend, as she is set to compete in the 60m hurdles, as well as the 4x400 and 4x800 relays. At the Bison Opener, Fogle helped the Retrievers' 4x400 team post the top time and also jumped into the all-time record book with her 60m hurdles finals time of 9.30.
Senior Mo Drammeh (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) cleared 2.01m (6'7'00) in the high jump at Bucknell, his best since his sophomore season, and sits second in the America East.
In the women's competition, junior Alisha Beeman (Bridgeport, Conn./Bunnell/Hartford) finished second by clearing 1.65m (5'5.00") and moving to fourth in the UMBC record book. In addition, Beeman placed seventh in the long jump, while freshman Abigale Slonski (Griswold, Conn./Griswold)took fifth with a leap of 5.13m (16'10.75") to move to seventh all-time in school history.
Also in the field events, sophomore Caitlyn Davis (River Hill, Md.) moved into a tie for fourth in school history by clearing 3.00m (9'10.00") in the pole vault competition. This weekend she will compete once again in the pole vault, as well as the triple jump.
Junior Mary Katherine Kulp (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) ranks fourth in the conference in the one-mile run, entering the new year after her career-best time of 5:11.00 at Bucknell. She will look to better her time even further at Penn State.
Following a record-breaking and championship winning fall, the distance team will hit the track en masse this weekend. Sophomore Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) broke two school records during the cross country season and holds a spot in the UMBC all-time top-ten in the 3,000m and 5,000m runs following his freshman campaign. Senior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) also had a stellar cross country season and will compete in the one-mile race this weekend.