SPLIT-SQUAD IMPRESSES AT BU INVITATIONAL; FULL SQUAD COMPETES AT MIT SATURDAY
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Merrimack College track & field team returned to action Saturday with a split-squad showing at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational at Boston University that was highlighted by two more school records, while the rest of the Warriors posted strong results at the MIT Invitational at the Johnson Athletic Center in Cambridge, Mass.
Event: Gordon Kelly Invitational at MIT
Top Performers: Jean-Gilles (200m)| Distance Medley Relay | Ali (3000m) | Barnett (60H/HJ)
Location: Johnson Athletic Center | Cambridge, Mass.
How It Happened
Highlighted by first-year sophomore Taylor Jean-Gilles (Woburn, Mass.) posting a new school record in the 200m and another record-setting effort by the women's distance medley quartet at BU, as well as two more school records at MIT, Merrimack continued to build on what has easily been its most impressive season to date in its fourth year in the history of the program with a pair of impressive efforts at both venues Saturday.
Jean Gilles, who has already turned heads with a string of impressive results during his first season with the Warriors, established a new Merrimack record in the 200m at BU, completing the event in 22.38 seconds. That mark helped him qualify for the New England Championships in the process.
Also on Saturday at BU, the women's distance medley relay quartet comprised of sophomore Kristin Schmidt (Athens, N.Y.), junior Christine Manfra (Stoneham, Mass.), sophomore Kerry Phelan (Peabody, Mass.) and sophomore Bethany Labossier (Derry, N.H.) all combined for a 12:38 finish, setting another school record while representing a top-four time among all Northeast-10 Conference performers.
Meanwhile, at the MIT Invitational, junior distance runner Sherif Ali (Cliffside Park, N.J.) set another school record in the 3000m race, finishing in 8:50 to represent one of the top men's results on the afternoon.
On the women's side, rookie Sarah Barnett (Bridgewater, Mass.) established another Warrior all-time best in both the 60m hurdles and the high jump. More impressively, the Bridgewater native's distance of 5'4.25" in the high jump stands as the best distance in the NE-10.
Overall, Merrimack set 10 school records and hit two NCAA provisional marks, while also seeing four more Warriors qualify for the New England Championships. Two athletes now lead the conference in their respective events and two others are ranked in the top-15 in their respective events in the NCAA.
What They Said
Head Coach Matt Pimentel: "This weekend we had a chance to compete against the best competition in the region. Both teams really stepped up and performed well. These past two days were by far the best we have had on the track in our program's history. We as a coaching staff could not be more proud of what we accomplished this weekend."
The Warriors return to action next weekend when they head to Tufts for the second time this winter to compete in the Tufts Cupid Challenge on Saturday (Feb. 15). The meet will be the final tune-up before the Northeast-10 Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships the following weekend (Feb. 21-22).