Men’s Championship Streak Broken; Women Take Third

Milena Stoicev catches her breath after the 800 meter run. Photo taken by James O'Connor.

The incredible streak of 18 consecutive Indoor MAAC Championships for the men’s team was snapped on Feb. 21.

Monmouth took home both the men and women’s MAAC title with a total of 169 points and 215.5 points respectively.  The Manhattan men’s team came in second with a total of 110 points to Iona’s 108 points, a lead that was sealed only after Manhattan won second in the final 4×400 relay at the end of the night.

Manhattan’s women’s team placed third with 82.5 points to Iona’s 81 points, a minute lead also made possible by Manhattan’s fifth place ranking in the 4×400 relay.

In the men’s 5000 meter race, Tom Voorheis finished sixth overall.   He went on to place eighth in the 3000 meter later in the evening, alongside Stephen Chantry who placed 15th. After finishing the 3000 meter, Chantry described how initially it was not a definite decision to enter the second race.

“I spoke to my dad after I finished the 5000, and he told me to go after it,” Chantry said. “He’s a runner and the mentor I look up to.”

Mikael Rojeras took fifth in the one mile despite his calf pain that has been bothering him all season.

For the women’s team, Bianca Marten placed first in the triple jump and second in the long jump. Marten, who came to Manhattan from Germany in January, was enthusiastic when asked about her MAAC performance.

“I never expected this. I was so sick on Wednesday,” said Marten, who also took second in the 60 meter hurdles. It was her first time in three years that she has competed in the hurdles. “I try to support [the team] any way I can.”

Freshman Kathy Cadet, the lone competitor for Manhattan in the 400 meters, secured first in her heat with a time that placed her eighth overall, while Sheldon Derenoncourt placed fourth for the men.  Milena Stoicev placed third in the 800 meter right behind Monmouth. The excitement carried over to the men’s 800, when Greg Perrier overtook Iona in the last lap to secure second and achieve a personal record for the season.

Senior Josh Perez, who set a personal record for his indoor season in the 800 meters, commented on the sentiment that he attached to the race.

“As a senior, it was my last time running on the track at the Armory as a Jasper,” he said.

                While Manhattan did not score in the women’s 3000 meters, freshman runner Katie Saroka notched a personal record.
               “It was my best race of the season, so it’s a good way to finish.” 
                Lydia Wehrli placed third in the women’s weight throw with a distance of 17.46 meters and freshman Lina Bengtson placed second in the women’s shot put with a distance of 13.52 meters.  Bengtson will compete in the ECAC Championships in two weeks.
               “It will be a bit harder, but hopefully it will go better,” Bengtson said.

Freshman Hayden Clarke clenched fourth in the long jump and sophomore Bobby Gebhard triumphed with a new record of 14.72 meters in the triple jump. Gebhard shared that it was his first time jumping since January, and that he was ecstatic about his performance: the distance that now qualifies him for the IC4A Indoor Championships.

“I’m excited [for the IC4A],” Gebhard said. “I’ve never done it before, and I hope to jump a little to a lot farther.”

Senior Rokas Kirlys achieved a new personal record of 16.21 meters in the shot put, which placed him fourth relative to the three leading Monmouth competitors.

The women’s team scored 9.5 points in the pole vault, but Maddesen Weekes, who did not score, admitted that the championships did not go as she expected.

“My run was a little off and my step kept changing, but I cleared a lot on my second and third attempts,” Weekes said. “I was doing what felt best, and did what I had to do in order to pull a few heights.”  Brucher added that she jumps better outdoors, and is looking forward to the spring season.

For the men’s pole vault, Justin Farrenkopf took second when he cleared 4.65 meters.  Stefan Hoeller and Dean Hefnawy scored additional points for Manhattan by tying for seventh with clearances of 4.35 meters. A few pole vaulters have sustained injuries this season, which proved to be a challenge for the team.  Sophomore Matt Pluhowski, who recently returned after recovering from an injury, commented on Monmouth’s presence in the conference.

“They challenged us,” Pluhowski said. “It was definitely a change up from last year.”

Ida Virdebrant, who gained recognition last week for her national record of 1.80 meters in the high jump, took first with a height of 1.75 meters.  Mohamed Koita, ranked seventh in the nation in the high jump, took second with a height of 2.14 meters.