Brown, Riddick, Johnson Make History at NJAC Indoor Track & Field Championships

New York, NY (2/23/09) – Sophomores Monique Riddick (Edison, NJ / Bishop Ahr) and Will Brown (Gloucester, NJ / Palmyra) and freshman Damier Johnson (Long Branch, NJ / Long Branch) each set new championship meet records and received top individual honors as the Montclair State men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams each finished sixth at the 2009 New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships held at The Armory on Monday evening.

Brown, named the Outstanding Male Track Athlete in 2008, was named the top overall Outstanding Male Athlete this time around while Riddick was named the Most Outstanding Female Field Athlete. Johnson claimed Co-Outstanding Male Track Athlete honors with Frank Iwanicki of Rutgers-Camden.

All three athletes posted NCAA qualifying marks as Montclair State had four in the meet. The MSU men totaled 56 points while the women collected 41.

Riddick successfully defended her conference crown as she registered an NCAA automatic mark for the third time this season throwing a personal best 14.29 meters. Riddick’s throw shattered the old NJAC mark of 13.78 set in 2002 by Nacole Moore who went on to win the NCAA championship that season. Riddick, the defending national champion, put forth the second-best throw in Division III this season as she and St. Lawrence’s Alyssa Pirinelli (14.52 meters) are the only competitors to surpass the 14-meter mark this year in Division III.

Brown moved to the the top of the 55 hurdle standings in Division III as he ran 7.45 in the event - while nearly stumbling over the last hurdle to record the fastest time in the country this year. Brown hit the automatic qualifying mark for next month’s NCAA Division III Championships and in the process broke the meet record besting former MSU national champion Enrique Llanos, who ran 7.49 in 2002, the same year he won the national title. Brown also broke Llanos school record of 7.46 which occurred in Llanos' national-championship winning race in 2002. Teammate Adenford Jean-Philippe ( Irvington, NJ / Irvington) placed third in the event with a time of 7.66, moving him up on the NCAA Provisional list.

Brown went on to place fifth in the 400 meters and then ran the leadoff leg of the 4x400 relay team that placed third (3:29.31). Brown was joined by Eric Gershey ( Parsippany, NJ / Parsippany Hills), Jean-Philippe and Terry Iavarone ( North Arlington, NJ / North Arlington) who passed two runners in the last meters to earn third place.

Johnson, making his first NJAC meet appearance, claimed the title in the 55 meters as he blazed to a victory in the event posting a time of 6.44 seconds. Johnson broke the meet standard of 6.45 set by Eric Greene of TCNJ in 2003 and equaled in 2006 by New Jersey City’s Ronald Hussey and Anthony Miles. His time also put him on the NCAA provisional list. But Johnson wasn’t done yet as he added a second victory in the 200 meters clocking in at 22.35.

Iavarone would add a fourth-place finish in the 800 meters (1:57.40) while Terrence Daly ( Barnegat, NJ / Monsignor Donovan) claimed seventh in the weight throw at 12.44 meters.

On the women’s side, freshman Katherine Tallaj ( Paramus, NJ / Immaculate Heart) was second in the 55 hurdles as she times in at 8.66 seconds. Sophomore Farida Jawando (Colts Neck, NJ / Monmouth Regional) was third in the 800 meters (2:23.06) and the placed fourth and fifth, respectively in the triple jump with Tallaj going 10.36 meters and Jawando 10.20 meters. Evelyn Sha ( East Brunswick, NJ / East Brunswick) was eighth in the same event (9.89 meters) and she later finished fifth in the high jump (1.48 meters).

Freshman Epiphany Sams ( Englewood, NJ / Paramus Catholic) was sixth in the 55 meters.

The Red Hawks continue with their indoor season on Friday, February 27 as they return to The Armory for the NYU FastTrack Invitational.