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Running to success: UMBC track and field team takes top ten finishes

The spring  semester has  commenced, but the track and field athletes have already been on their feet. The Retrievers began the semester by heading up to State College in Pennsylvania to compete in the 2017 Sykes and Sabock Challenge Cup taking place on Friday, Feb. 3 and Saturday, Feb. 4. Overall, the men’s team took second in the meet and the women placed seventh with success found in a diverse number of running events for both.

Sophomores Jamal Cody and Erin Patrice stepped onto the track for the short distance races, competing in the 60 meter hurdles and 60 meter dash, respectively. Cody’s times gradually became faster throughout his event, placing 8.18 in the prelims, 8.15 in the semifinals, and 8.12 in the finals, placing fifth. Patrice ran a 7.72 in the prelims, a 7.73 in the semifinals and a 7.75 in the finals, for a seventh place finish.

On the other end of the distance spectrum, the Retrievers placed high in the long distance runs as well. Freshman Matt Bennett ran the 5000 meter and took tenth and eleventh place, Bennett clocking in at 15:27.89. Senior Sophia Cologer also ran the 5000 meter trek and placed seventh with the time of 17:31.28.

In the 400 meter dash, junior Urgy Eado placed second with a time of 49.28. Meanwhile, junior Funmi Daramola finished seventh with a time of 57.94. The 4 x 400 relays saw high placements, with the second place time of 3:17.74 run by the men’s team (Cody, Oakley, senior Darrius Oxley and junior John Oputa) and a seventh place time of 3:53.99 run by the women’s team (Daramola, sophomore Amani Wallace and freshmen Kaya Knake and Tori Johnson).

Success was found in the field as well, especially among the freshman crew. Retrievers competed in the heptathlon, shot put, weight throw, and high jump. In the heptathlon, sophomore Christian Kallenberg placed third with a score of 4729, a personal best for him. Freshmen Chase DeWitt and Russell Bowman placed third and fourth in the shot put. Freshman Alexios Prodanas, with a toss of 16.55 meters, placed third in the weight throw. And freshman Jacob Netschke placed sixth in the high jump, his jump of 2.04 meters.

Overall, members of the UMBC track and field Team finished in the top ten throughout several of their events at State College. Their time at State College will continue on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Penn State Tune-Up Meet.