Middletown, CT (12/6/08) – The Montclair State men’s and women’s indoor track teams received their usual outstanding performances from their returning standouts and also got some fine outings from its newcomers as the Red Hawks opened their 2008-09 season with a successful showing at the Wesleyan Invitational on Saturday. Senior Eugene Asimou ( Livingston, NJ / Livingston) and sophomore Monique Riddick ( Edison, NJ / Bishop Ahr) each won the shot put with NCAA qualifying marks as MSU posted nine-first place finishes.
Riddick, the NCAA Division III indoor champion in the event last year picked up where she left off in 2008 as she won her seventh event in 11 career competitions. Riddick registered a best throw of 13.49 meters (44-3.25 feet) to put her name on the list for the 2009 NCAA Championships which will be held in March in Terra Haute, Indiana at Rose Hulman. Riddick would later add another win in the weight throw with a toss of 12.78 meters (41-11.75-feet).
Freshman Epiphany Sams (Englewood, NJ / Paramus Catholic) took first place in the 55 meters as she clocked in a 7.68 during the preliminaries before recording a winning time of 7.70 in the finals. Sams, who took seventh in the 200 meters, then helped MSU to a second-place finish in the 4x200 relay as she was joined by Katherine Tallaj (Paramus, NJ / Immaculate Heart), Evelyn Sha (East Brunswick, NJ / East Brunswick) and Leah McClish (Old Bridge, NJ / Old Bridge) as the quartet recorded a time of 1:56.69.
McClish would take fourth in the 400 meters (1:06.88) and ran the third leg of the 4x400 team that placed second. Margaret Owusu ( New Brunswick, NJ / New Brunswick), Tallaj and Farida Jawando (Colts Neck, NJ / Monmouth Regional) comprised that team as they had a time of 4:35.35. Jawando was second in the 200 meters (2:24.61) and Kristen Larson ( Bloomfield, NJ / Bloomfield) took the same position in the mile (6:27.09). Tallaj would get her own first-place winning the 55 hurdles in a time of 9.28. Anna Gleason ( Butler, NJ / Butler) had two second-place finishes in the 55 hurdles (9.36) and high jump (1.50 meters). Sha was third in the high jump (1.45 meters) and Kimberly Valleau ( Whippany, NJ / Whippany Park) was second behind Riddick in the shot put (9.43 meters). Leslie Dobbs ( Palmyra, NJ / Palmyra) was second in the weight throw (8.86 meters).
On the men’s side, Asimou, an All-American in the shot put in both indoor and outdoor season in ‘08, led a Top 6 finish by MSU. Asimou recorded his provisional mark for the NCAAs with a throw of 15.88 meters (52-1.25-feet). Marc Seemon ( North Plainfield, NJ / Union Catholic) was second at 14.45 meters (47-5-feet) followed by John Tancer ( Montville, NJ / Montville), Michael Johnson ( Boonton, NJ / Mountain Lakes), David Helterbran ( Sewell, NJ / Washington Township) and James Luginsland ( Bridgewater, NJ / Bridgewater-Raritan).
Freshman sprinter Damier Johnson ( Long Branch, NJ / Long Branch) made it a sweep of the 55 meters for MSU as he posted a time of 6.67. Gregory Bardzell ( Wanaque, NJ / Lakeland Regional) was second at 6.85 seconds. Bardzell and Johnson ran the leadoff and anchor legs, respectively on the second-place 4x200 relay squad (1:34.59). Kevin Linico ( Florence, NJ / Florence) and Robert East ( Passaic, NJ / Passaic) ran the middle legs.
Sophomore Will Brown ( Gloucester, NJ / Palmyra), who competed in the NCAA indoor meet last year, won the 55 hurdles with a time of 7.78. Adenford Jean-Philippe ( Irvington, NJ / Irvington) was third at 8.02 seconds. Freshman Tim Duwhite, Jr. (Passaic, NJ / Passaic), led a 1-2 MSU finish in the 800 meters as he held off Lee Tedeschi (Bayonne, NJ / Bayonne). Duwhite posted a time of 2:05.61 with Tedeschi clocking in at 2:08.04. Freshman Eric Gershey ( Parsippany, NJ / Parsippany Hills) was victorious in the 400 meters (53.65) and then joined Duwhite, Brown and Terry Iavarone ( North Arlington, NJ / North Arlington) for a second-place finish in the 4x400 relay (3:30.08).
Iavarone was second in the 500 meters (1:07.26) and Austin Schaller (Old Tappan, NJ / Northern Valley-Old Tappan) was second in the pole vault (3.65 meters / 11-11.75-feet).
The Red Hawks return to action next Sunday, December 14 as they compete in the Seton Hall Open in South Orange.