WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – The Monmouth University track and field teams won the Monmouth Season Opener on Saturday afternoon amidst rainy conditions in West Long Branch. Both teams recorded victories in the meet, besting 11 Division I teams in the field. The men have not lost at home since 1996, while the women have been unbeaten at MU since 2001.
The day was filled with strong performances from the Hawks, participating in all events despite the rainy conditions. Performances of note include Ed Kramer (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee) setting a personal best mark in the high jump at 6’8.5 to qualify for IC4A’s and Lucia Montefusco (Levittown, N.Y./MacArthur) highlighting four Hawks who set personal bests in the 5k and jumping in front with a burst midway through the race to win.
Mackenzie Roche (Freehold, N.J./Freehold) placed second in the women’s mile with a time of 5:41.83, and Jenna Cupp (Newark Valley, N.J./Newark Valley) took third in the 1500 meter run with a time of 4:47.55. Zoya Naumov (Bellaterra, Spain/FMTE/Ramon Fuste Bellaterra) was not far back in fifth at 4:48.78. The women’s 4x100 relay team won the event at 47.66 seconds, and Mel Lewis (Midland Park, N.J./Midland Park) finished second in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 15.70.
In the women’s 400, Kate Frye (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant Boro) placed second with a time of 58.78, and Mariah Toussaint (Tulsa, Okla./Brooke Point/Midland) scored in the 100 with a time just shy of 13 seconds (12.99). Freshman Abby Baker (Hanson, Mass./Whitman Hanson Regional) posted points for MU in the 800 meter run, posting a time of 2:22.84. Montefusco won the 5k with a time of 18:05.33, followed closely by Lennon Cooper (Holmdel, N.J./Holmdel) in third and Kristen Rodgers-Erickson (High Bridge, N.J./Voorhees) in fourth, with times of 18:25.38 and 18:25.74. MU’s women’s 4x400 team claimed first, crossing in 4:08.74.
Moving to the women’s field events, Michaela Read (Manasquan, N.J./Manasquan/Bucknell) took third with a high jump of 5’5” and Victoria Miskel (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) was third in the long jump with a mark of 15’10”. Kim Price (Wilmington, Del./Concord) took first in the triple jump, leaping 35’ 10 ¾“, and Taylor Johnson (Woolwich, N.J./Kingsway Regional) and Qiyana Hill (Middle Island, N.Y./Longwood) took first and fourth respectively in the discus, with Johnson tossing it 155’ 2 ½“. Rachel Aliotta (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) claimed second in the hammer throw with a mark of 174’7¼“ and Faith Blamon (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) was third in the javelin (129’ 8 ¼“). Aliotta also was the third place marker in the shot put, tossing 43’11”. Laura Williams (North Brunswick, N.J./North Brunswick Township) raced to a win in the 400 meter hurdles, finishing in 1:02.68.
Turning over to the mens side, Matt Nelson (Barnegat, N.J./Barnegat) won the 10,000 meter run in 32:58.35. Alex Leight (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge) claimed third in 4:03.78 in the 1500 meter run, and the men’s 4x100 relay team took second in 42.76. It was Jalen Walker (Burlington, N.J./BCIT/Burlington Township) winning the 110 meter hurdles in 15.08 seconds, and Geordan Ferguson (Lakehurst, N.J./Manchester Township) took third in 15.11. Domenick D’Agostino (Wallington, N.J./Wallington) won the 3000 in 8:38.09 and Dylan Capwell (Hopatcong, N.J./Hopatcong) ran the 400 in 49.28 to take second. Ahmier Dupree (Lakewood, N.J./Lakewood/Montclair State) ran a time of 11.24 in the 100 meter dash to take first, and Connor Fuller (Bainbridge, N.Y./Bainbridge-Guilford Central) scored in the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:47.24. The MU 4x400 relay squad won the event in 3:23.02.
The men’s field events saw Liam Vogt (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph by the Sea) take second and Joey Marini (Lincoln Park, N.J./Boonton) take third, with Vogt’s mark at just over 21 feet. Marini also posted a mark of 43’6” to win the triple jump. Taylor Bernstein (Pine Brook, N.J./Montville Township) won the discus with a throw of 162’10”, and Errol Jeffrey (Brooklyn, N.Y./Transit Tech/Bronx C.C.) took second with a mark of 152’2”. Jeffrey also posted a second place finish in the hammer throw with a toss of 181’4 ¼“. The top three in the javelin were all Hawks, led by Vincent DuVernois (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) at 181’8 ¼“. Zach Torrell (Manahawkin, N.J./Lacey Township) and Kevin Gilhuly (Wallingford, Conn./Mark T. Sheehan) also posted top three finishes. Jeffrey and Bernstein continued strong days with first and second place tosses in the shot put, with Jeffrey throwing 57’6”. Capwell won the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 54.28.
MU track and field returns to action next weekend with multiple events that will see MU athletes compete, including two meets in Virginia.