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LIU’s Rodney ready for his last dash

Named Northeast Track Athlete of Year Prior to Final Blackbird Outing

June 8, 2016 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brendon Rodney, one of the greatest track athletes in LIU-Brooklyn history, was poised to make his last dash during this week’s NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Photo courtesy of LIU-Brooklyn Athletics
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Brendon Rodney, the LIU-Brooklyn sprinter poised to compete against the best in the nation this week in Eugene, Oregon, was named the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association Northeast Region Track Athlete of the Year on Monday.

Rodney, a grad student at the Downtown school who has accumulated numerous honors during his distinguished collegiate career on the track, received the honor just two days before his final appearance as a Blackbird at this week’s NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Recognized as one of the most decorated student-athletes in LIU Brooklyn history, Rodney entered Wednesday night’s scheduled 200-meter heat after breaking his own school record with a blinding time of 19.97 at last month’s NCAA East Preliminary Meet.

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Rodney has been named a Second Team All-American five times during his career with the Blackbirds, and finally picked up First Team All-America honors following this past season’s NCAA Indoor Championships, in which he placed fourth in the 200.

During the 2016 outdoor season, Rodney once again won the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash at the Northeast Conference Championships, as he earned Most Outstanding Track Performer and Most Valuable Performer honors for a third straight year.

He also helped the 4×100 and 4×400-meter relay teams earn berths into the NCAA East Preliminary Meet in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Canadian led the 4×100 to its second consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championship appearance with a time of 39.54 at regionals, just 14-hundredths of a second off the school record.

Rodney was slated to kick off his final run with the Blackbirds in the 4×100 Wednesday evening before competing in the individual 200s a couple of hours later.

Senior Mica-Johnathan Petit-Homme will also represent the Blackbirds in the individual 400-meter hurdles after Rodney, senior Tyquan Dukes, junior Delano Davis and freshman Caleb Williams complete the 4×100.

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Over on Remsen Street, recent St. Francis Brooklyn graduates Vincent Bezecourt of the men’s soccer squad and Leah Fechko of the women’s basketball team have been named finalists for the Northeast Conference Student-Athlete of the Year Award.

Bezecourt, who came to Brooklyn Heights from France two summers ago, helped lead the Terriers to their second straight Northeast Conference Championship and NCAA Tournament berth during his first year here.

The versatile midfielder earned Second Team All Northeast Conference accolades after tying for second in the league with six assists. The Professional Studies graduate added game-winning goals against Howard and Bryant in 2014 en route to being named to the 2014 National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s All Northeast Region Team. 

Though the Terriers ultimately came up just short in their bid for three straight NEC titles this past fall, Bezecourt distinguished himself as one of the best players in the nation in 2015. 

He paced SFC with seven goals, which was good for fourth in the NEC rankings.

Fechko, an Ohio native and one of only 16 players in SFC history with 1,000 career points, was a big part of the Terriers team that made history in 2015, winning three NEC women’s hoops titles with an unprecedented three consecutive road wins en route to the diminutive Downtown school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

Fechko is the first Terrier ever to record 1,000 career points, 800 rebounds and at least 200 assists to go with more than 200 steals in her prodigious career.  

This past season, she scored 20 or more points on nine occasions and was named the 2015-16 NEC Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first women’s basketball player in program history to win the award.

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Terriers head men’s soccer coach Tom Giovatto revealed the team’s 17-game regular-season schedule for the 2016 season this week, with Brooklyn Bridge Park serving as SFC’s home field for the third straight season, the first two of which resulted in NEC crowns.

The Terriers, who were ranked as high as No. 22 in the country last season, will open the campaign in Easton, Pennsylvania as they square off with the Lafayette Leopards on Aug. 26.

They return to Brooklyn for their first home game on Aug. 31 against Rhode Island at Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) for a 7 p.m. match.

Four of SFC’s eight non-conference contests in September will be on home turf after opening the month with three straight road contests at UMass-Lowell (9/4), Hartford (9/7) and Hartwick (9/10).

Giovatto’s squad will enjoy its longest home stretch of the season when the team plays four straight matches at BBP against NJIT (9/14), Army (9/18), Saint Peter’s (9/21) and Howard (9/24). 

September will conclude with a trip to our nation’s capital on Sept. 28 to take on George Washington.

The NEC slate will kick off Oct. 7, when the Terriers travel to Fairfield, Connecticut to take on the Sacred Heart Pioneers.

Defending NEC champion and neighborhood rival LIU-Brooklyn will invade the Terriers’ pitch on Nov. 6 for the annual Battle of Brooklyn contest, which will likely go a long way toward determining which Downtown powerhouse hosts this year’s NEC Championship Tournament, which will take place Nov. 11-13.

SFC went a solid 10-3-5 last year, losing on penalty kicks to the Blackbirds in the NEC semifinals.

 


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