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February 7, 2012

Men Take Down 4 x 1600m Academy Record

USMMA men went head to head against  some strong competition in Dickinson College, Gettysburg College, Messiah College, Lebanon Valley College, McDaniel College, Hood College, CCNY, Shenandoah University, Stevenson College, Haggerstown Community College, Falls Road Running Club and Landmark Conference foes, The Catholic University, Goucher College and Juniata College at the DuCharme Invitational hosted by Dickinson College on Saturday 2/4.

While there were exceptional performances all around, the highlight of the day came for the men's 4 x 1600m relay team of FR David McGowan, FR Alex Megeff, SR Logan Swan (pictured right) and JR Daniel Baxter. The men shaved nearly 18 seconds off the record with a time of 19:13.94 and placing 3rd overall.  

Dominating performances came from the sprinters and jumpers throughout the day. Mariner sprinters took four of the top five spots overall in the meet in the 300m. FR Chris Cook lead the way with an overall victory in 37.63 (#4 All-time at the Academy). FR Tomas Sanchez was close behind in 2nd finishing in 37.75 (#5 All-time at the Academy). Seniors Kevin Young and Hunter Karass finished 4th and 5th respectively overall in 38.74 and 38.81.

This was just the start to an outstanding day for Cook that garnered him the award for Landmark Conference Field Athlete of the Week. Cook was the overall meet winner in the Long Jump with a significant improvement to his personal best in the event jumping 6.64m. This mark would have won him the conference title at last year's Landmark Championships and sits him 7th on the Academy's All-time list. Cook followed up with a 3rd place performance in the Triple Jump, marking 12.91m and good for the 6th best mark ever at the Academy. USMMA had multiple other strong performances by their Freshman jumpers. Ryan Faber jumped an indoor personal best mark of 6.42m, placing him 4th and Luke Kolbeck improved his season's best mark with a jump of 6.25m placing 6th.

"The jumpers are showing great improvement", said Head Coach Greg Lott. "They are making gains from technique even though their bodies are a little beat down right now. As we start to taper I expect to see some big marks from them in upcoming meets. Luke had been having some trouble with his approach. He marked all six jumps this week which will give him confidence and allow him to focus on other aspects of his jumps. Our other jumpers better watch out".

The Mariner milers sliced some more time off of their fastest performances of the season. JR Daniel Baxter came across the line 7th overall with a time of 4:41.77. He just edged out fellow teammate, FR David McGowan who finished in 8th with a time of 4:41.92. There was solid representation in the Shot Put for the men with two Mariners finishing in the Top 10 overall. Seniors Ed Logan and Aaron Benson finished in 7th and 9th place respectively with marks of 12.16m and 11.72m.

FR Tomas Sanchez also performed well for the Mariners. In addition to his 2nd place finish at 300m, he ran to a 6th place finish in the 800m with a time of 2:03.90. He ended the meet for the Mariners with a dynamite leg of the 4x400m relay giving USMMA the lead going into the anchor leg. SR Kevin Young finished things off for the Mariners running to the overall victory. The team comprised of Sanchez, Young and Seniors Richard Shelest and Hunter Karass blazed to a season's best finish of 3:33.23 to defeat a very strong field.

USMMA will be in action next Sunday at Susquehanna University.