Women's Outdoor Track and Field Wins Six Events, Sets School and Meet Records at NJAC Championships

Mahwah, NJ (5/7/11) – The Montclair State women’s outdoor track and field team won six individual events, broke two conference championship meet records, two school records and had a pair of NCAA automatic qualifying times as the Red Hawks placed fifth at the 2011 New Jersey Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Ramapo College on Saturday.

Junior Ashley Powell (Orange, NJ / Marylawn of the Oranges) won two of those events as she took top honors in both the 100 and 200 meters. Powell set personal bests in each event as she captured the 100 meters with a time of 12.46 seconds before coming back to win the 200 meters at 26.10 seconds.

Freshman Heather Gearity (Rutherford, NJ / Rutherford) set a new NJAC Championship record in the 400 hurdles as she claimed the conference title in that event. Gearity posted an NCAA automatic time of 1:01.68 to break former MSU national champion Tierra Hicks’ 2002 record of 1:01.92. Gearity entered the meet with the top time in Division III this season – 1:01.21 at Penn Relays last week.

Sophomore Ashadaya Patterson (Trenton, NJ / Northern Burlington) punched her ticket for the NCAA Outdoor Championships later this month as she gave Montclair a sweep of the hurdle events. Patterson, who also finished fifth in the 400 hurdles (1:05.28), registered an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 14.48 seconds to win the event while collecting the sixth-best time in the nation this season.

Patterson and Gearity then helped Montclair State’s 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams to NJAC titles with new MSU records.

The 4x100 team of Patterson, Gearity, Antoinetta Altilio (Rutherford, NJ / Rutherford) and Powell reset their own record in the event established two weeks ago on the very same track as the quartet posted a time of 48.91 seconds.

Meanwhile the 4x400 relay set a new school and conference meet record in that event, while also posting an NCAA provisional time. Patterson, Ellis, Krystal Ellis (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) and Gearity combined on a time of 3:53.35.
The mark broke the 23-year-old school record set in 1983 and eclipsed the NJAC record held by The College of New Jersey two years ago.

Ellis would finish third in the 400 meters with a time of 58.64 and was fifth in the long jump at 5.06 meters. Gearity placed eighth in the high jump at 1.48 meters while Sara Douma (West Milford, NJ / West Milford) placed eighth in the triple jump (10.27 meters).

Nicole Presti
(Saddle Brook, NJ / Saddle Brook) finished seventh in the 3000 meter steeplechase with a personal-best time of 13:27.06.