sports track and field

Track & Field Host Largest Meet in MAC History

sports track and fieldThe Monmouth University men’s track and field team won the MU Winter Collegiate Invitational, and the women’s team finished second this weekend in the biggest meet ever hosted at the University.

On the men’s side, junior Ahmier Dupree was the winner out of the University’s runners in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.87, an IC4A time and a personal best. MU finished strong in the 60 hurdles, taking the top three and five of the top seven spots. 

Junior Geordan Ferguson won the 60 hurdles with a time of 8.08, with teammates senior Jalen Walker and junior Eric Kahana close behind.

“This was good preparation for conference championships next weekend,” Ferguson said. “Me and Jalen always go one and two. Hopefully we can keep that going and do the same next weekend.” 

Three of the top four finishers in the 400 were MU athletes; the winner was senior captain Ben Boyd. Boyd, who finished in 49.00 seconds, was followed by junior John Malespina in third, and senior Andrew Langille in fourth in a very tight race. Freshman Jack Grace claimed second in the 500 with a time of 1:07.72. 

Senior Tommy Darlington took third in the 3k, which is 19 laps around the MAC’s indoor track. Monmouth’s men took the top two spots and four of the top six competitors in the mile. Junior Domenick D’Agostino was the winner of the event in 4:17.57, while teammate junior Graham Huggins-Filozof took close second at 4:18.72. Senior Khari Bowen came in third in the 800 while teammate senior Chris Solda placed sixth with times of 1:56.39 and 1:59.28.

MU’s DMR (distance medley relay) team of Huggins-Filozof, junior Rob Staskowski, Bowen and D’Agostino won the event with a time of 10:33.84.

In the men’s field events, senior captain Taylor Bernstein won the shot put with a mark of 17.45m or 57’ 3”, which is two meters further than the IC4A mark of 15.70. Freshman Corey Murphy finished third at 52’ 6”, and junior Tevin Kirby-Stewart was fifth at 49’ 11.25”. 

Led by junior Spencer Dimock, who marked in at 55’ 9”, MU dominated the men’s weight throw, taking all six of the first spots. Senior captain Wulf Sutcliffe was second, just behind Dimock at 55’ 4.75” and Bernstein was less than a foot back of that for third place. 

Senior Erik Anderson cleared 6’ 9.50” in the high jump, jumping the IC4A mark and winning the event. Junior Liam Vogt and senior Joey Marini took one-two in the long jump, with Vogt jumping 23’ 3.25” and Marini less than four inches behind him at 22 ’11.75”. Marini won the triple jump after much delay, clearing 49’ 1.50” for first place and a facility record.

“If you go in with the attitude that you think you can win, you will win; it’s that simple,” Marini said to the team as words of encouragement for next weekend’s conference.

On the women’s side, senior captain Lauren McDonald finished sixth in the 60 meter dash just minutes after she was done winning the pole vault competition with a jump of 11’9.75”. Senior Mel Lewis was the first MU runner to complete the 60 hurdles with a season’s best time of 8.98. 

Sophomore Jenna Cupp and freshman Allie Wilson placed fifth and sixth in the 400, a rather impressive feat considering this is not their normal event. Sophomore McKenna Coakley came in seventh in the 200 with a time 26.24. The women’s DMR group of Hanlon, sophomore Andrea OlsenMcKeon and freshman Alivia Carlton finished in first with a time of 13:10.76.

Sophomore Molly McKeon finished first in the mile, racing it in 5:00.38, a new MAC record and a personal best for McKeon. Sophomore Maggie Hanlon took sixth in the 1000, and Tionna Garner finished in sixth in the 800 after a rough start getting stuck in the back of the pack.

In the women’s field events, senior captain Taylor Johnson took second in the shot put overall, but first among University competitors with a mark of 43’ 2.25”. 

“This was a good warm up for next weekend, not only for the throwers but for the whole team,” Johnson said. “We really need to focus this week and make sure we keep progressing as the biggest meet we have as a team is next weekend.” 

Freshman Alicia Hester took fifth in the event. Johnson was also second in the weight throw at 51’9”, and junior Aziza Ahmed was just behind her at a personal best of 51’1”. 

McDonald won the pole vault, with sophomore Casey Sturts in third and junior Brittany Papa in fourth. Freshman Casey Harewood was second in the high jump coming back from a mid-season slump, clearing 5’3”.

Both MU’s men’s and women’s team are back at the New York Armory for the MAAC Championship on Saturday, Feb. 21, where they will look to defend their 2014 title.

PHOTO TAKEN by Lennon Cooper