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Blerim Pocesta

Penn Relays Conclude, Jaspers Also Compete at Lions Invitational

Courtesy: Manhattan Athletic Department
Release: 04/27/2014
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PHILADELPHIA – Blerim Pocesta (Staten Island, N.Y.) capped a successful trip to the 120th edition of the Penn Relays for the Manhattan College outdoor track & field team by taking second in the men’s college hammer throw at Franklin Field on Saturday afternoon.  Love Litzell (Ostersund, Sweden), meanwhile, competed in the championship section of the hammer throw, while Mohamed Koita (Cergy, France) took part in the championship high jump.

Pocesta’s third-round effort of 57.67 meters (189 feet, two inches) was one centimeter further than Maine’s Wilson Adams threw.  Killian Barry (Dublin, Ireland) was also entered in the men’s college hammer throw, and he took 18th with a toss of 52.85 m (173’4). 

In the championship hammer throw, Litzell got out to 63.26 m (207’6), which was good for sixth place overall.  Koita, who set a school record while winning the Eastern high jump in 2013, was in the championship section this year.  He finished eighth in the event with a clearance of 2.08 m (6’9¾).

Also at the Penn Relays on Saturday, Phil Ragan (Belmar, N.J.) placed sixth in the men’s college javelin (64.92 m, 212’11) and Bobby Gebhard (Saddle River, N.J.) was 10th in the men’s Eastern triple jump (14.48 m, 47’6¼).

Meanwhile, those Jaspers who didn’t compete at the Penn Relays (as well as some who did) headed to the College of New Jersey for the Lions Invitational.  Manhattan also had several solid performances at that meet, which ended early due to lightning.  Most of the events went off before the delay, while the 3000 meter steeplechase, 4x400 meter relay, women’s 200 meters and men’s discus were unable to be completed.

Perhaps the most impressive efforts at the Lions Invitational were turned in by Gebhard and Sheldon Derenoncourt (Patchogue, N.Y.).  After competing at the Penn Relays in the morning, Gebhard traveled to New Jersey to take part in the 110 meter hurdles.  And he ended up finishing sixth with a time of 15.46 seconds.  Meanwhile, Derenoncourt, who ran an impressive third leg in the sprint medley relay Championship of America on Friday night, took third in the 200 (22.18).

Other top performers at the Lions Invitational included Edward Brentnall (Atlanta, Ga.), who placed third overall and second among NCAA athletes in the hammer throw (48.91 m, 160’5), and Salim Corbin (Patterson, N.J.), who took fourth in the 800 meters (1:55.75).  In the pole vault, Stefan Hoeller (Bergisch Gladbach, Germany) and Savio Paul (Yonkers, N.Y.) both cleared 4.50 m (14’9) to finish in a tie for fourth place.

The Jasper women were just as impressive.  Alyssa Windle (Redlands, Calif.) won the 5000 meters in 18:55.93, while Milena Stoicev (Nis, Serbia) was second overall and first among collegians in the 1500 meters (4:42.05).  Doreen Horschig (Lumpzig, Germany) added a second-place finish in the 100 meter hurdles (14.37), and Janie Turek (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) was third in the 800 meters (2:19.97).  Just like on the men’s side, two Manhattan athletes tied for fourth in the women’s pole vault, as Marisa Robbins (Goshen, N.Y.) and Maddesen Weekes (Clifton Park, N.Y.) each recorded a clearance at 3.20 m (10’6).

Saturday’s meets served as the Jaspers’ final tune-ups for next weekend’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships, which will be held at Rider University on Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5.  The Manhattan men look to regain the conference title after finishing second in 2013, while the women’s squad took third at the MAAC Championships last year.

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