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ROXBURY, Mass. – Breaking a combined six school records and seeing 25 different personal records set, the Merrimack College men’s and women’s track and field teams got their sixth season off to an impressive start at the UMass Boston Indoor Open on Saturday.

The Basics
 UMass Boston Indoor Open 
Top Finishers:
 Men: Spencer (2nd – 60M Hurdles), Robinson (2nd – 400M) | Women: Pernell (1st – 60M) 
 Reggie Lewis Center | Roxbury, Mass.

What They Said
Head coach Jacky Mendes, “Overall this was a fantastic way to start the season. On top of so many personal records, six school records were broken. The Warriors are really proving that they are more determined, hard-working, and positive than ever. The coaching staff is extremely proud of this group and looks forward to having the best season in program history.”

How It Happened
The men’s side saw four different school record be broken throughout Saturday, with two of those records being set by junior standout John Braga (North Reading, Mass.). Braga finished third overall in the high jump, setting a personal and school record (2.00m) that also qualifies for the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association (NEICAAA) Championship. The junior also broke the school record in the pole vault (4.10m), which was good enough for sixth overall.

Fresh off a quality cross country season, sophomore Keith Steinbrecher (Wading River, N.Y.)finished fifth overall in the 5000m with a time of 15:28.74, a school record in that event. Freshman Tyler Lebel (Saco, Maine) set a school record of his own in his first meet as a Warrior, running a time of 1:27.55 in the 600m that placed him 10th.

Other quality performances for the men included junior John Spencer (North Haven, Conn.), finishing second overall in the 60m hurdles (8.72), and freshman Jacob Robinson (Riverhead, N.Y.) also placing second in the 400m (51.18), a personal record and a time that ranks third on the school record board.

The two school records on the women’s side would both come in throwing events, as junior Sarah Barnett (Bridgewater, Mass.) set the school record in the shot put with an 11.18m throw, a personal record that ranked seventh overall at the meet. Sophomore Rachel MacKelcan (Wilmington, Del.) set the sixth and final school record in the weight throw (7.75m).

The women saw the lone first-place finish for the Warriors on the day come from freshman Michaela Pernell in her first meet as a Warrior. She would win the 60m with a time of 7.85, a personal record that was also a NEICAAA qualifier and third on the school record board. Pernell also finished fourth in the 200m with a time of 26.35, a personal record that ranks second on the school record board.

The women also had third-place finishes from Barnett in the long jump (5.30m), a personal record and second on the school record board, sophomore Lauren MacGregor(Salem, N.H.) in the triple jump (10.88m) and junior Emily Mauro (Northboro, Mass.) in the pole vault (2.75m). The women’s A 4x400m team also finished third overall with a time of 4:04.61.

Up Next
The Warriors return to Boston next Saturday for the Jay Carisella Invitational at the Reggie Lewis Center.

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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