BALTIMORE – Following two meets in Pennsylvania to start the season, the UMBC track and field teams will stay in Maryland this weekend, but split up, with athletes competing at the Navy Invitational and the Terrapin Invitational on Saturday. The Navy meet will take place at the Wesley A. Brown Field House in Annapolis while the Terrapin meet will be held at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Md., adjacent to FedEx Field.
The first two meets, the Bison Opener back in December and the Penn State Relays last weekend, saw multiple Retrievers set career-bests and meet IC4A and ECAC Championship standards.
Junior Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown), an NCAA Championships participant a year ago, made her 2013-14 debut in fine fashion last week, qualifying for the ECAC meet in both the 60m (7.48) and 200m (24.78) dash events. Jackson will look to lower her times and challenge her own school record (7.34) in the shorter sprint this weekend in Landover.
Senior Kirsten Jones (Brentwood, Tenn./M.L.K Magnet) also opened her season last weekend at Penn State, meeting the ECAC requirement in the 500m run, while finishing third with a time of 1:15.60. Jones is the school record holder in the 400m dash while her time last week was just off her personal-best (1:15.50) which ranks fourth in school history. She will compete in the 60m dash as well as the 300m dash on Saturday.
In the distance events at Penn State, senior Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) broke the school record in the 1,000m (2:56.58), with junior Sarah Daly (Lake Orion, Md./Lake Orion) and sophomore Angelina Oputa (Bowie, Md./Elizabeth Seton) also setting career-bests and breaking into the Retrievers' top-ten. Oputa will compete in the one-mile this weekend at the Terrapin Invitational.
Following a break after a championship-winning cross country season, the men's distance crew hit the track last weekend in Pennsylvania, continuing the personal record-breaking trend.
Senior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) finished second in the mile with a top personal time of 4:17.18 and will compete in the 1,000m at Navy. Cross country All-Conference honoree Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) placed second in the 3,000m run at PSU, recording the sixth-fastest time in UMBC history (8:30.71), while senior Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley) was just two spots back. Although Omar will not race this weekend, Albino will join Smith in the 1,000m competition.
In the field events, senior Mo Drammeh (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) and sophomore Caitlyn Davis (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) have both excelled this season. Drammeh recorded his best high jump (2.01m; 6'7.00") in two years at the Bison Opener while Davis set a personal-best in the pole vault by clearing 3.00m (9'10.00") at Bucknell and then equaling it last weekend. Drammeh will have the weekend off but Davis will take part in the pole vault and triple jump competitions this weekend at the Terrapin Invitational.