NEW ORLEANS – The UMBC men's and women's track and field teams are both ranked No. 13 in the latest United Stated Track & Field and Cross Country Association's (USTFCCCA) Mid-Atlantic Regional Poll, the organization announced on Tuesday.
The Retriever women re-enter the top-15 poll after sitting at No. 13 on Jan. 25, but falling out of the rankings last week. The men, meanwhile, enter the regional top-15 rankings for the first time this season after a record-breaking weekend in New York at the Armory Collegiate Invitational.
Team captains Sarah Daly (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion), Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) and Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) have led by example for the Retrievers this indoor season. Last weekend at the Armory, Jackson set season-bests while advancing to the finals in both the 60m (7.41) and 200m dash (24.17) events. An NCAA qualifier and Second Team All-American last year in the 60m event, Jackson leads the America East Conference in both events while ranking tied for 28th nationally in the shorter sprint competition. She has already met the ECAC standard in both events.
In the longer events, Daly and Mezebish have each qualified for the ECAC Championships in the 1,000m run after an impressive display last weekend. Daly edged out her teammate in the event to take over the school record with a time of 2:53.04, while Mezebish also bettered her personal-best (2:53.23).
For the men, the distance crew has led the team into the rankings after completing an outstanding fall cross country season which included an America East championship.
Senior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) has had a breakout final year for the Retrievers. After earning All-Conference accolades during the cross country season, Smith has captured the UMBC school record in the 800m run (1:49.15) this winter. His time ranks tied for 17th in the country while also qualifying him for the IC4A. In addition, Smith has met the regional requirement in the 1,000 (2:25.60).
Smith's classmate, Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley), meanwhile, broke the school record in the 1,000m run (2:25.48) last week in New York while sophomore Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) added the 5,000m record (14:32.71) to his haul which already included the top spot in the 3,000m run (8:23.50). Albino currently sits fourth in the America East while Omar occupies the second spot in the 5,000m event and the fifth spot in the 3,000m run.
UMBC makes its final preparations for the 2014 America East Championships on Friday when the Retrievers return to New York for the Rider/Lafayette Winter Games at the Armory.