WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.- The Monmouth University men’s and women’s track and field teams each took first place in the MU Blue/White Invitational on Saturday afternoon at The Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC). With the wins, the teams remain unbeaten in The MAC since it’s opening in 2009. Senior Mariah Toussaint (Tulsa, Okla./Brooke Point/Midland) recorded a long jump of 20 feet, eight inches, which is the longest mark nationally so far during the indoor season. Senior thrower Errol Jeffrey (Brooklyn, N.Y./Transit Tech/Bronx C.C.) set a new facility record in the shot put, winning the event by a wide margin.
“It was great to get back in action after the break,” said Head Coach Joe Compagni. “We have a lot of areas where we need to get better, but we had some excellent performances to start the year as well.”
Monmouth was competitive across the field events, beginning with the long jump. Toussaint’s leap of 20’ 8” currently stands as the longest mark in the country in the indoor track season. Her mark was also a facility record, shattering the previous mark by one foot, six and ¾ inches. George Alexandris (Fair Lawn, N.J./Fair Lawn) placed second in the long jump, leaping to a mark of 22’ 11 ¾”.
In the high jump, Erik Anderson (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham Wading River) won the event with an IC4A qualifying mark of 6’ 8 ¼“, followed tightly by Daniel Jefferson (Mays Landing, N.J./Oakcrest), who took second. Toussaint won the high jump as well, marking the same as Michaela Read (Manasquan, N.J./Manasquan/Bucknell) at five feet, three inches. Lauren McDonald (Roseland, N.J./West Essex Regional) won the pole vault for the second consecutive meet, this time with another ECAC qualifier and a facility record of 11 feet, 9 ¾ inches. Tyler Poland (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah) took second place in the men’s pole vault. The triple jump was won by Monmouth’s Kim Price (Wilmington, Del./Concord), with Victoria Miskel (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) notching a third place finish. Liam Vogt (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph by the Sea) claimed second in the men’s triple jump.
In the throws, Jeffrey continued his strong season, setting a facility record with a throw of 61 feet, 1 ¼ inches in the shot put, nearly six feet further than the second place finisher. Rachel Aliotta (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) also continued to rack up the wins, winning the shot put with a toss that was more than four feet longer than the next closest competitor. Tim Wilson (Washingtonville, N.Y./Washingtonville) won the men’s weight throw with throw just shy of 55 feet. Tilah Young (Barnegat, N.J/Barnegat) and Aliotta both placed near the top of the women’s weight throw, with Young in second and Aliotta in third.
Eric Kahana (Freehold, N.J./Freehold) finished second in the 60 meter dash in 7.08 seconds, with Robbie Robinson (Skillman, N.J./Montgomery) finishing in fifth. Toussaint won the women’s 60m in 7.73 seconds, trailed by Lachelle Wallace (Herndon, Va./South Lakes) in second, just .04 seconds behind the winner. Toussaint continued her big day with a win in the 200 meter dash, setting a facility record with a mark of 25.12 seconds.
Antoinette Isekenegbe (Vineland, N.J./Vineland) was the only competitor in the 400 meter dash to finish in under a minute, crossing in 58.64 seconds. On the men’s side, Ben Boyd (Port Murray, N.J./West Morris Central) was the top university finisher in the 400 in 49.31 seconds. In the 500 meter dash, Tionna Garner (Trenton, N.J./Trenton Catholic Academy) was the top finisher, while the men’s 500 saw two Hawks finish in the top two spots in Luis Reyes (Hoboken, N.J./William L. Dickinson/Saint Peter’s) and Ron Brown, Jr. (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Liberty).
Domenick D’Agostino (Wallington, N.J./Wallington) raced to a victory in the 800, besting the nearest competitor by nearly four seconds with a time of 1:55.83. Kendal Hand (Howell, N.J./Howell) finished atop the MU women with a fourth place mark in the 800. Freshman Dylan Capwell (Hopatcong, N.J./Hopatcong) qualified for IC4A’s with a win in the 1000 meter run, reaching the finish line in 2:27.93. Another freshman, Jenna Cupp (Newark Valley, N.Y./Newark Valley), was the first place university runner in the 1000, followed closely by classmate Zoya Naumov (Bellaterra, Spain/FMTE/Ramon Fuste Bellaterra).
Senior Danielle Branco (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge) finished strong to complete a win in the mile, running the distance in 5:17.14. Sydney Engelberger (Great Barrington, Mass./Monument Mountain RHS) was not far behind, claiming second. Kevin French (Fishkill, N.Y./John Jay) ran a 4:22.75 mile, making him the top university qualifier. Kevin Summonte (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township) took his place as the second university finisher, fourth overall in the event. The top two finishers on the women’s side both came from MU, as Lucia Montefusco (Levittown, N.Y./MacArthur) and Nina Poccia (Morristown, N.J./Pope John XXIII) claimed the top two spots, with Montefusco crossing in 10:52.32. Graham Huggins-Filozof (Freewood Acres, N.J./Freehold Township) finished just under the nine-minute mark, crossing in 8:59.11 for a second place spot in the 3000.
Jalen Walker (Burlington, N.J./BCIT/Burlington Township) notched an IC4A qualifying mark in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.19 seconds, just ahead of Geordan Ferguson (Lakehurst, N.J./Manchester Township), who was .08 seconds back of the leader. Kahana also ran strong, coming across in third place. Kate Frye (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant Boro) and Read were the second and third place finishers respectively in the women’s 60m hurdles.
The men’s relay team of Reyes, Ferguson, Boyd and John Malespina (Park Ridge, N.J./Park Ridge) won the 4×400 relay event, combining for a time of 3:25.30. In the women’s relays, a 4:00.74 time was good for second place for the group of McKenna Coakley (Port Reading, N.J./Woodbridge), Mel Lewis (Midland Park, N.J./Midland Park), Frye and Isekenegbe.
The teams will return to action next Saturday, January 18 in Bethlehem, Pa. for the Angry Birds Invitational. The four-team meet is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.