Erik Kahana concluded his Monmouth University track and field career in a flash.
The ex-Freehold High School star sprinter won two individual events (100- and 200-meter dash) and picked up a third gold medal in the 4×100 relay to help the Hawks’ men win a third straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Outdoor Track and Field Championship. The MAAC meet was held at Rider University in Lawrenceville. The Hawks rolled up 255 points on the way to the championship.
The championships were a trifecta for the women’s team as well, as they won their third straight MAAC crown. The women scored 228 points in their triumph.
For the third consecutive year, Hawks head coach Joe Compagni was named the conference’s Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year.
Kahana won his first individual MAAC titles by taking the 100 in 10.63 and the 200 in 21.28.
He was part of Monmouth’s meet-record-setting 4×100 relay team. Bryan Sosoo (Reservoir, Maryland), Malcolm Chavis (Roxbury) and Ahmier Dupree (Lakewood (Montclair State)) won the relay in 40.91, which was also a school record.
The second MAAC record for Monmouth came from Joey Marini (Boonton), who registered a 15.47-meter leap (50-9) in the men’s triple jump.
Monmouth won five major MAAC awards for its championship performance. Geordan Ferguson (Manchester) was named Men’s Track Most Outstanding Performer; Andrea Olsen (Buena Regional) was named Women’s Track Most Outstanding Performer; Tevin Kirby-Stewart (Hatboro-Horsham, Pennsylvania) was named Men’s Field Most Outstanding Performer; and head coach Joe Compagni was named MAAC Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year for the third straight season.
“For Monmouth University, for the athletic department and for Dr. Marilyn McNeil, we are proud to be able to bring home two more MAAC championships,” Compagni said in a prepared statement. “My coaching staff did an excellent job of getting the team ready, and they competed with a lot of heart and toughness.”
Seniors Ferguson and Olsen combined for four hurdle wins, as Ferguson placed first in the men’s 110-meter hurdles (14.46) and men’s 400-intermediate hurdles (53.03). Olsen took first in the women’s 100 hurdles (14.00) and women’s 400 intermediates (1:00.69).
Kirby-Stewart won the men’s discus (51.27 meters), while Corey Murphy (Yaphank, New York/Longwood) placed third (49.11 meters). Both distances qualified for the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) meet. Kirby-Stewart picked up another win in men’s shot put (17.38 meters), with Murphy right behind him in second. Both were ECAC distances.
Howell High School graduate Kendal Hand was second in the 800 to teammate Tionna Garner (Trenton Catholic).
Garner and Hand teamed with Jenna Cupp (Newark Valley, New York) and Allie Wilson (Strathhaven, Pennsylvania), the 1,500-meter winner, to capture the women’s 4×800 relay in 9:03.17.
Harry Bickmore (Guilderland, New York) won the men’s high jump and qualified for ECACs with a leap of 2.06 meters.
Monmouth took second place in the women’s 4×100 meter relay, as Ashley McKinnon (Essex County Vocational), Olsen, Brianna Piazza (Toms River South) and Kim McKinnon (Marlboro) crossed in 48.30.
At the IC4A/ECAC Championships held at Princeton University, the relay teams with Kahana and Hand broke school records.
Wilson, Cupp, Hand and Garner not only broke the school record with their 4×800 time of 8:42.93, but they also won the event at what is the oldest track meet in the country.
The sprint team of Sosoo, Kahana, Chavis and Dupree posted a time of 40.86 during qualifying to break their one-week old mark.
“This is a championship with a ton of history that includes most of the best teams in the East and over 60 schools,” Compagni said in a prepared statement after the meet.
Monmouth recorded its best finishes ever at the meet with the men finishing seventh (36) and the women eighth (31).