The University of Rhode Island men’s and women’s track and field teams were victorious at the University of Rhode Island Coaches versus Domestic Violence Invitational at the Mackal Field House this past Saturday on Senior Day.
The teams combined to win nine individual events, two relay events and both finished with the most team points in the meet overall. The men’s team scored 180.5 points, 40 more than second-place Brown University. The women’s squad notched 130 points, also besting Brown by 20 points.
Sophomore DeAngelo Berry competed in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.91 seconds, which ties freshman Nigel Hill’s time for the best mark by any Ram in the event all year. Speaking of Hill, he entered the 200-meter dash placing first in the race with a time 21.8 seconds and was named Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie Performer of the Week.
“We are trying to work from one level to the next,” Rhode Island men’s track and field head coach John Copeland said. “We are trying to peak for [the New England Championship on Feb. 27 and 28] and the Atlantic 10 Championships.”
Freshman jumper Casey Burley earned a win in the long jump with a distance of 6.96 meters, the best jump for the team this year.
Other notable performances for the men’s team include first-place finishes by sophomore Jack Kahrs in the triple jump and junior Kebba Nasso in the 400-meter dash. Sophomore Ondrej Honka took first in the pole vault and a team of Kahrs, Hill, sophomore Joe DiPalma and junior Zach Campo won the 4-by-400-meter race. Campo, along with senior James Bloom also ran the 1000-meter event, with the latter grabbing second and the former grabbing third. Their respective times of 2:30.63 and 2:30.68 were the best marks for the team this entire season.
“I am not quite happy with where we are yet, but we still have more to do,” Copeland said. “Our best is still to come and I hope we keep improving.”
The women’s team also put forth a strong performance, winning three events in addition to 12 top-3 finishes and five times that represented season-bests.
Freshman Keilan Nova, senior Lauren Burke and sophomores Micaela McPadden and Dyshelle Pemberton stood out as they won the 4-by-400-meter relay. They all either qualified for the New England Championship or went on to set a personal best in the other events in which they competed.
“This year has been difficult with the weather and injuries” Rhode Island women’s track and field head coach Laurie Feit-Melnick said. “It has been a challenge, but we are making nice improvements. We are trying to keep everyone healthy and we are really excited about the talent and the depth we have.”
Nova won the 200-meter and qualified for New England’s and Burke came in fourth in the 500-meter, but set a season best in the race. McPadden finished third in the 400-meter and Pemberton finished third in 200-meter with a season best time. Both also qualified for New England’s.
Junior Shellyann Lindo came in second place in the 60-meter dash, qualified for New England’s, set a personal best and had the fourth-best time in Rams history. Also pushing for best in school history was freshman Jackie Burr. who was third in the 3000-meter, qualified for New England’s, had a season best and had the tenth-best time in history.
“We are very excited with how our team is doing,” Feit-Melnick said. “We have a great group of women doing well academically and athletically. The best part of the season has yet to come.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams next compete on Friday at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational this Friday for their final meet of the regular season.