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Mariners Face Stiff Competition at Northeast Challenge

Mahwah, NJ – The United States Merchant Marine Academy men's track and field team competed at the Northeast Challenge at Ramapo College, Saturday afternoon in Mahwah, NJ.

The un-scored event included top teams in the region such as nationally ranked Ramapo College, Springfield, TCNJ, Stockton, RPI, Farmingdale, NYU, and Merchant Marine.

"There were a lot of 'OK' performances today from our guys," said Head Coach Greg Lott.  "But we are getting to the point as a program where 'OK' just isn't good enough.  We have to be more focused as we move forward and I fully expect our men to rebound with a great showing next week." 

Senior Jay Giblin (Petaluma, CA) had the best performance of the day, in relation to previous marks; smashing his personal best Hammer Throw by over two meters with a mark of 42.77m (140'4") to place ninth overall at the meet.

In the high jump, freshman Kenneth Pressey (Yorktown, VA) placed third overall in his first collegiate competition with a mark of 1.85, (6'1").

Other notable throwing/jumping performances included freshman Giovanni Sessoms (Alpharetta, GA) who placed seventh in the Shot Put with a mark of 10.93m, sophomore Ryan Pierson who finished eighth in the Shot Put with a throw of 10.83m, and freshman Chase Dwyer (Pittsburgh, PA) who placed sixth in the Triple Jump with a distance of 12.13m. 

Freshman Tomas Sanchez showed strong improvement in both his relay leg of the 4x400m and in the open 800m; his first 800m event of the season.  Sanchez's time of 2:00.51 in the 800m was good enough to finish eighth overall. 

"Tomas is showing strong improvement each week since his return," added Coach Lott.  "He ran the 800m very controlled, even splitting the race; this tells me his fitness level is almost there.  He came back with a 50.2 split in the 4x400m to put our team in the race.  He isn't quite back to form, but he's getting closer and closer.  This is a very good sign for us."

In the 4x400m, Sanchez teamed with freshman Andrew Walsh (Granville, OH), senior Daniel Baxter (Cosxackie, NY), and freshman Jacob Weaver, (Clifton, TX) to finish fifth with a time of 3:29.15.

Individually, Weaver placed sixth in the 400m with a time of 51.49 and Walsh finished seventh in the 1500m with a time of 4:11.07.

In their first time running together, the team of freshman Alex Waterbury, junior Tyler McDaniel (Colorado Springs, CO), Weaver, and freshman Martin Craig placed fourth in the 4x100 with a time of 44.96s.

The quartet performed solid handoffs despite the lack of familiarity running as a unit.  They may have finished a bit stronger, however, the anchor leg suffered from a hamstring pull mid-race, preventing him from finishing all-out.

In the SteepleChase, a trio of Kings Pointers finished sixth, seventh, and eighth, with freshman Jason Black (Sigonella, Italy), freshman Michael Dittmer (Burnt Hills, NY), and senior Mason Fonseca (San Antonio, TX) finishing in 10:41.91, 10:52.49, and 10:53.82 respectively.

It was Dittmer's first time running the Steeplechase, and Fonseca's mark broke his personal best record.

Other notable performances on the track included McDaniel placing ninth in the 200m with a time of 23.42s and freshman Jon Weldon (Houston, TX) finishing 11th in the 3000m with a time of 9:18.45.

Next weekend Merchant Marine will be headed to Allentown, PA to compete in the Muhlenberg Invitational.