Record Breaking Continues as UMBC Track and Field Excels in the Spotlight at Armory Collegiate Invitational

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Competing on the same track that will host the 2014 America East Championships in two weeks, and at the USTFCCCA National Meet of the Week, sophomore Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) snapped one of the oldest school records at UMBC, placing himself at the top of the 5,000m run list, as the Retriever track and field program concluded competition at the 2014 Armory Collegiate Invitational.

After missing out on the record, which was set back in the early 1980's by Michael Sterling, by less than a second last week at the Penn State Nationals, Omar broke through in the Big Apple.  The sophomore, who already captured the 3,000m school indoor record this winter after setting two school marks during the cross country season, broke through in a second-place finish by clocking in at 14:32.71.  Going into the weekend, Omar already led the America East with his previous time (14:40.20), while also meeting the IC4A standard and ranking 45th nationally.

In the women's race, sophomore Nicole Dawson (Jessup, Md./Hammond) led a trio of Retrievers in setting personal-bests.  Dawson crossed the line with a time of 17:47.01 to jump up to seventh in the school record book while senior Kirsten McGovern (Sykesville, Md./Century) moved to eighth with her time of 18:10.92 in New York.  Freshman Sarah Zielinski (Boonsboro, Md./Boonsboro) just missed out on the all-time top-ten, but set a new career-best of 18:18.08 in the 5k at the Armory.

After advancing to the finals and placing fourth last night in the 60m dash with a season-best time of 7.41, junior Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) moved on in the 200m event by setting a season-best 24.17 in the prelims.  In the next round, Jackson finished seventh with a time of 24.31.

A day after resetting the school mark in the 1,000m run, senior Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley) recorded a top-ten finish in the one-mile race with a time of 4:16.56.

UMBC school record holder Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) tied for second in the 800m championship run with a time of 1:49.26, just .11 behind his top mark of 1:49.15 set last week.  In the 800m college run, junior Charles Bolinger (Bowie, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) set a season-best time of 1:55.87.

Freshman Abigale Slonski (Griswold, Conn./Griswold) set a new personal-best in the triple jump, recording a leap of 11.19m (36'8.50"), the second-farthest in UMBC program history.

The Retrievers return to New York next weekend for the Rider/Lafayette Winter Games on Friday, Feb. 14.