The Cross-Country team recently finished up their brief season at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships (MAAC) on March 5 at Seaview Golf Club in Galloway. Both the men and women broke expectations, earning some of the lowest scores ever as a team in Monmouth history.
The men placed second as a team with 77 points, marking the first time as a team they got second in the MAAC conference. The women also had an outstanding performance, earning fourth place with a new school team record low of 83 points.
Junior Lou DiLaurenzio led the men, placing 10th overall with an 8k time of 25:12.59. Following him was sophomore Cameron Janovic, placing 14th in 25:24.67 and junior James Hoffman running a time of 25:35.42, coming in 18th place.
For the women, freshman Allie Pierontoni dominated the field placing 6th with a 6k time of 22:15.70. Fellow freshman Katie Locker came in 13th with a time of 22:36.05. Closely following Locker was junior transfer Mackenzie Delahunty, in 16th and running 22:39.64.
On March 20, only 15 days later, the Hawks opened their outdoor track and field season at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. The Monmouth Hawks only competed against the Army Black Knights. This was the team’s first meet since the conference cancelled the season last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Head Coach Mike Nelson shared his thoughts on the dual meet, “I’m just very thankful we had the opportunity to get on a bus and compete,” said Nelson. “A lot of teams around the country are struggling to even find opportunities.”
“It was good conditions: we had nice weather and competed at a beautiful facility near the river. We also had some really great performances; I could not ask for more,” Nelson added.
The throwers had a strong showing; Senior Montel Johnson won the hammer throw with a mark of 57.48 meters. Fifth-year senior Dan Gilligan won the shot put in 16.24 meters while sophomore Mujeeb Ali got first in the discus with 49.09 meters. In the Javelin throw, senior Chris Putnam threw close to his personal best with 64.68 meters to get third place.
On the women’s side, senior Chibuzo Amonu won the shot put in 12.87 meters. Amonu, in addition, earned third in the Hammer throw with a mark of 50.02 meters. Senior Danielle Steff came in second in the Javelin throw, with a mark of 46.16 meters.
The team also did well for the jumps segment. In the high jump, junior Derek Vander Woude won with a height of 1.96 meters. In the men’s long jump, fifth year senior Khalid Slocum won with a distance of 7.05 meters meanwhile junior Mohamed Diagourga finished first in the triple jump in 14.47 meters. In the pole vault event, the two juniors clinched victory. Randy Showmaker jumped 4.65 meters to win, while Lauren Saifi won in 3.31 meters.
The sprinters also opened their season in good terms. In her college debut, freshman Isabelle Warren won the 100-meter hurdles in 15.18 seconds and the long jump in 5.47 meters. In a similar event, junior Naeem Green won 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.89.
In the 1500m, Louis DiLaurenzio came in second with a time of 3:51.65. Following him was James Hoffman in third place with 3:51.96.
Last, but not least, in a thrilling 4×400 meter race the Hawks ran a close second place to Army. Senior Tim Jacoutot led the first leg, while junior Jalen Jones and sophomore Daniel Fenton worked the middle race. Sophomore Micah Wood anchored the team with a time of 3:15.48.
Next weekend on March 27, the Hawks will face Lehigh, Colgate, Binghamton, and the host team at the Lafayette Invitational in Easton, Pennsylvania.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics