Mahwah, NJ – The United States Merchant Marine Academy women's track and field team broke three academy records and had an ECAC qualifier Saturday afternoon at the Northeast Challenge at Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ.
The un-scored event included top teams in the region such as nationally ranked Ramapo College, TCNJ, Stockton, RPI, Farmingdale, NYU, and Merchant Marine.
The women's team had a great start to the season as the first to events of the day for Kings Point both yielded new academy records.
Senior Tara Mulligan (Monroe, NY) kicked things off with her first ever ECAC qualifying mark; while also setting a new academy record in the Hammer Throw. Her best throw of 43.68m (134'4") was also good enough to place third overall among some of the best throwers in the east.
"Tara has been in search of an ECAC mark for a long time," said Head Coach Greg Lott. "I am so proud that she achieved this goal; she really has been putting in the effort with her training.
Also competing in the Hammer Throw, sophomore Paige Hallier set a new personal best mark with a throw of 30.82m (101'1")
In the first track event of the day, the 4x100m relay team of sophomore Michelle Danhoff (Berlington, WI), senior Jessica Tyack (Lake Isabella, CA), freshman Jen Perkins (North Attleboro, MA), and freshman Kate Stanislaw (West Lawn, PA) also set a new USMMA record with a time of 54.96s to finish fourth overall at the meet.
"I was ecstatic with this performance," raved Coach Lott. "The 4x100m relay takes lots of practice to establish good baton exchanges. The girls came out with their first try of the year and looked very comfortable. Perkins and Danhoff have just started back up with us and are not even in shape yet. I was not expecting that record to fall until several weeks from now."
Individually, Danhoff finished ninth in the 100m Hurdles. Her time of 18.56s was a major improvement from her season opener in Coastal Carolina. Stanislaw ran a 30.54s 200m, and Tyack finished ninth overall in the 400m with a mark of 1:04.65.
The Mariners' third record of the day came in the 4x400m when Tyack, senior Gretchen Holoubek (Severna Park, MD) Danhoff, and Stanislaw won their heat with a time of 4:25.07; over an eight second improvement from the previous record established at the Landmark Conference Championship meet a year ago.
Additionally, Holoubek placed fourth overall in the 1500m, setting a new personal best mark with a time of 4:55.54.
Other notable track performances included freshman Emily Bull (Glen Rock, PA), who placed 14th in the 400m with a time of 1:14.48, junior Katie Miller who ran a 2:50.09 800m, and Anya Hovanic who placed 17th in the 1500m in her first collegiate race, crossing the finish line in 5:23.74.
In field events, Tyack placed fourth in the Triple Jump with a distance of 10.18m (33'5") and Perkins set a new personal best mark in the Javelin by nearly four meters with a throw of 24.40m (76'9").
Next weekend Merchant Marine will be headed to Allentown, PA to compete in the Muhlenberg Invitational.