Sports

Track and Field Wins First MAAC Title

jeffreyThe men's and women's track and field squads finished their first season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) by winning the MAAC Indoor Track & Field Championship on Friday, Feb. 21. The championship meet was held at the New York Armory, a familiar territory for the Hawks this season, which is located in Manhattan, NY. The men's side scored an overall 169 points while the women scored 215.50 points during the meet.

The women's team took the championship by storm, with the second place team, Rider University, trailing by more than 100 points. MU's women were seen as the top three finishers in nearly every event. One of the most impressive victories came from the weight throw as senior Tilah Young set a MAAC record at 59 feet 9 ½ inches. Senior Rachel Aliotta claimed first in the shot put while Young came in third.

The women set two more MAAC records with senior Mariah Toussaint besting the competition in the long jump at 20 feet and 3 ½ and junior Lauren McDonald hit 12 feet 5 ½ inches in the pole vault.

The women were just as strong on the track, with Toussaint and graduate student Lachelle Wallace taking first and second in the 60 meter dash. Toussaint also set a MAAC record in the preliminaries of the 60 meter dash with a finish time of 7.64 seconds.

Toussaint participated in the 200 meter dash as she yet again set a MAAC record at 24.30 seconds for the race. Directly behind Toussaint in second place was senior teammate Laura Williams at 24.61 seconds. In the distance events, freshmen Zoya Naumov and Jenna Cupp finished first and second in the 800 meter at 2:12.38 and 2:14.44 respectively. Coming in fourth for the event was MU sophomore Kendal Hand at 2:15.82, just .62 of a third place finish.

Senior Danielle Branco and freshman Kristen Rodgers-Erickson also earned MU points in the 5000 meter run. Branco placed sixth at 18:26.75 while Erickson had an eighth place finish at 18:40.46. Senior Lucia Montefusco also had a sixth place finish in the women's 3000 meter run with a time of 10:30.31 rounding out the women's side of competition.

The men took control of the meet early on as they beat out Manhattan College by 50 points. Senior Errol Jeffrey, who has been leading the MU men's throwers all season, won both the weight throw and the shot put with 65 feet 6 inches and 59 feet 5 ¾ inches respectively. Jeffrey contributed 20 points for MU throughout the meet; the majority of the men's points came from the track.

Sophomores Eric Kahana and Ahmier Dupree took first and second in the 60 meter dash at 6.94 and 6.98 respectively. Kahana gained more points for the Hawks in the 200 meter dash placing fifth overall at 22.27 seconds.

Freshman standout Dylan Capwell continued to turn heads winning the 800 meter run with a lightning fast time of 1:50.52. In the mile, sophomore Graham Huggins-Filozof managed to add some points to the men's total with a seventh place finish and a time of 4:14.48. Huggins-Filozaf also raced in the men's 3000 meter run where he finished ninth with a time of 8:47.46. Junior teammate Khari Bowen came in tenth for the event at 8:48.72 and sophomore Connor Fuller finished eleventh 8:52.92.

Bowen, the distance runner standout from MU's cross country season, scored more points for the Hawks as he competed in the men's 5000 meter run, coming across the line in seventh with a time of 15:07.32.

Senior Jalen Walker earned a second place finish in the men's 60 meter hurdles with a time of eight seconds flat while Kahana placed third at 8.15 seconds.

MU saw third, fourth and fifth place finishes in the men's high jump from junior Joey Marini, junior Erik Anderson, and freshman Daniel Jefferson.

Two days after the MAAC Championships, Jeffrey was competing in the U.S. Indoor Championship in Albuquerque, NM.

The event featured post-collegiate athletes who now compete on a professional level and two collegiate throwers. Jeffrey finished eleventh overall in the shot put at 59' 1 ¼" missing the finals by three spots. The winner of the shot put was Ryan Whiting who threw 72'11.25" which is this year's longest throw globally as of now.

With the indoor season coming to a close, the men and women are preparing for the weekend of March 7 as Boston University hosts the ECAC and IC4A Championships.

PHOTOS COURTESY of Jim Reme