STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The Maryland track and field teams started off the 2017 season with a bang Friday, totaling eight event victories at the Wagner College Invitational. Several Terps set new personal best marks and moved up the program’s all-time performers list in the team’s first meet of the 2017 campaign. The event at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex featured teams from across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including Connecticut, Delaware, Sacred Heart, Army, Monmouth and Lehigh among others.
Junior Alexandra Lucki dominated the field in the 3000 meter run, winning the event with a mark of 9:38.00. The time was over 23 seconds faster than the next best finisher, and moves her into third all-time on the Maryland all-time indoor list. Teammates Sydney Almeida (10:15.25) and Alexa Squirini (10:22.94) also finished towards the front of the pack, taking sixth and 15th (respectively).
Senior Lisa Meneau and junior Peyton Wade claimed the top two spots for the Terps in the 60 meter hurdles, finishing in 8.60 and 8.72 (respectively). The time shaved seven hundredths of a second off of Meneau’s career indoor best, moving her into eighth on the Maryland all-time list. The mark also set a new PR for Wade.
Maryland’s freshman class turned in some standout performances in their Terrapin debuts, which included a victory for freshman Kameron Jones in the 500 meter dash. The San Diego, Calif. native topped a field of nearly 40 competitors in his first career collegiate race, crossing the line in 1:04.33. The mark moves the 2016 Coastal League Track Athlete of the Year into third on the Maryland all-time list in the event.
Junior Claudia Ababio posted two victories in the throws to get her 2017 season off to a hot start, winning both the shot put and hammer throw. The Clarksburg, Md. native topped a field of over 50 competitors in the shot put, smashing her career-best with a mark of 15.27 meters. The throw bumps her up three spots into fourth on the UMD all-time indoor list. She went on to win the hammer throw with a distance of 17.87 meters.
The Terps turned in big victories in both the men’s and women’s long jump, as sophomore Gaston Assoua and junior Kayla Richardson brought home event titles. Assoua’s winning jump of 7.33m bested the second place finisher by half a meter, while Richardson won with a leap of 5.86 meters in a deep field.
Maryland’s prowess in the field events continued into the triple jump, where freshman Leah Blackall and junior Breanna Coleman went 1-2. Blackall made some noise in her first collegiate meet, as the former New York State high school Champion tallied her first event win as a Terp with a mark of 11.72 meters. Coleman wasn’t far behind, posting a jump of 11.62 meters to take second in the field.
Sophomore AJ Ruffin had a solid day for the Terps in the sprint events, taking third in the 200 meter dash (22.12) and fourth in the 60m (6.91) in his first action of the season. Senior Paul Joseph was also in the top pack in the 400, finishing third (49.03) in a field of over 50 sprinters.
Chandler Baxter posted a personal-best in the 200, finishing fourth overall with a time of 25.41.
Patrick Hanley ran a quality early season time in the 3000 (8:35.82), taking eighth in a deep field.
Both the men and women’s 4x400 relay squads showed well, with the men taking fourth (3:19.46) and the women claiming second (3:48.50) to cap off the evening.
Maryland will return to action next Saturday, January 14 when the team competes at the Nittany Lion Challenge in State College, Pa.