Terps Kick Off Season with Strong Start at Nittany Lion Challenge

Maryland Athletics
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Terps kicked off the 2018 indoor season with two new school records and a total of seven additions to the Maryland All-Time list Saturday at the Nittany Lion Challenge. The early season competition included Big Ten opponent Penn State as well as squads from Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Cornell, UConn, Virginia Tech, and Villanova.

Kameron Jones set the tone for the men’s squad cutting over a second off of his lifetime best in the 400m dash and setting a new school record in the event. Jones ran 47.43 to win this event. The previous Maryland record was set 37 years ago in 1981 by Darryl Bryant.

Senior Alex Leto came behind him and improved on the school record he already owned in the 300m dash. Leto’s new record stands at 34.27 and earned him a 3rd place finish in this event.

On the women’s side, senior, Claudia Ababio opened up her season in the throws with a third place finish in the shot put (51’0 ¾”) and a third place finish in the weight throw (59’10 ½”). Her personal best in the shot put moves her into the #4 spot all time at Maryland.

Freshman Jai'lyn Merriweather earned a spot in the record books as well with a third place finish in the 300m dash. Her time of 38.70 is second all-time. The 400m dash also had a good showing for the Terps with Cheyenne Jones finishing second (56.58) and Xahria Santiago finishing third (56.61).

Junior Jewel Smith set a new indoor best in the long jump with a first place finish. Smith’s mark of 19’10 ¾” came in combination with her performance in the 60m hurdle trials and finals where she finished in 7th (8.82). The Terps had a dual victory in both the women and men’s long jump as Gaston Assoua won the men’s competition. Assoua jumped 23’10 ¼” for the win.

Nadia Hackett opened up her freshman campaign with a 5th place finish in the 60m hurdles (8.78).

Emily Bracher came off of a strong cross country season and ran a personal best in the mile posting a time of 4:59.64. Brittany Lang also set her new personal best in this event running 5:05.85.

Deborah Olawuni started her season off right with a 5th place finish in the 60m dash. Her time of 7.59 ranks #6 all time at Maryland.

Alexandra Lucki improved on her personal best in the 3000m with a 2nd place finish (9:35.61). This boosts her #3 spot in the record books. In the men’s race, Patrick Hanley also set a new personal best in the 3000m run with a time of 8:27.53.

Dallyssa Huggins jumped 5’8” in the high jump as she preps for multi competition this season. The sophomore placed 2nd in this event. For the men, Sam Shoultz also placed 2nd in the high jump with a final height of 6’10 ¾”.

Senior Breanna Coleman debuted for her final indoor season with a third place finish in the triple jump (38’1 ¾”).

The meet was capped off with two women’s 4x400m relay teams earning 3rd and 8th place finishes. Santiago, D. Merriweather, Cooper, and J. Merriweather ran 3:45.16 while Baxter, Jones, Hackett, and Smith ran 3:52.74.

The Maryland track and field programs will return to action January 19-20 at the Vanderbilt Invitational and Terrapin Invitational.