Junior Thomas Chamney earned a berth in the finals of the 800-meter run at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships after finishing eighth in the semifinals with a time of 1.47.70 (second-best in school history) on Thursday in Sacramento, Calif.

Chamney Moves On To 800-Meter Finals At NCAA Championships

June 8, 2006

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Notre Dame junior Thomas Chamney (Tipperary, Ireland/St. Columba’s) earned a berth in the finals of the 800-meter run at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships after placing eighth in the semifinals which were held Thursday at Hornet Stadium inside the A.G. Spanos Sports Complex in Sacramento, Calif. As Notre Dame’s first 800-meter NCAA outdoor finalist in 40 years, Chamney is guaranteed to garner both All-America honors (reserved for top eight finishers) and points for the Irish in the team standings when the 800-meter finals are held Saturday at 3:15 p.m. ET (12:15 p.m. PT). CBS is scheduled to go on the air with 2.5 hours of live coverage 15 minutes after the start of the race (3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT), although it is possible a replay of the event will be televised during that time.

Chamney covered the two-lap circuit in 1:47.70, setting a personal-best time for the second time in as many races at the NCAA Championships. It also was the second-fastest 800-meter mark in school history, topped only in 1969 by Joe Quigley, who posted a time of 1:47.5 (a converted time from an 880-yard event). In addition, Chamney will be the first Notre Dame male to compete in the NCAA outdoor 800-meter finals since 1966, when Pete Farrell finished sixth. Former legendary Irish runner and coach Alex Wilson placed second in 1931, as did John Francis in 1938.

In Thursday’s NCAA semifinal, Chamney also nosed out Oral Roberts’ Shaun Smith for the final qualification spot, after Smith ran a 1:47.77 in his semifinal heat. Smith had posted the fastest time in Wednesday’s opening-round heats, and he was the No. 1 seed heading into this year’s NCAA Championships.

Chamney garnered All-America honors during the 2006 indoor season with a sixth-place finish in the 800 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships back in March. He also won the BIG EAST indoor 800-meter title and placed second in the event at the conference’s outdoor meet. The gregarious Irishman then went on to win the NCAA Mideast Regional title late last month in Knoxville, Tenn., setting the stage for his performance at this week’s NCAA Championships.

Senior Tim Moore (Novi, Mich./Novi) also competed for Notre Dame on Thursday night at the NCAA Championships, placing 15th in the finals of the 10,000-meter run. Moore clocked a time of 29:36.59 to mark the 12th time in as many NCAA appearances that a Notre Dame male has placed in the top 15 of the event. Moore also wasn’t far off the cutline for All-America honors (top eight finishers plus top eight Americans), with Stanford’s Brett Gotcher taking the final spot — he was 12th overall in 29:24.48.

Friday will be ladies night for the Irish, as seniors Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers) and Molly Huddle (Elmira, N.Y./Notre Dame) go in search of Notre Dame’s first-ever women’s NCAA individual title. Loomis will look for her first All-America citation when she takes part in the finals of the high jump at 6:45 p.m. ET (3:45 p.m. PT). Huddle then will run in the finals of the 5,000 meters at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) as she aims for her third top-four 5K finish in as many trips to the NCAA meet (fourth in 2003; third in 2004). Already the most decorated female athlete (in terms of All-America plaques) in school history, Huddle is in position to tie Ryan Shay’s overall school mark of nine combined All-America honors (seven track, two cross country) that was set from 1999-2002.

College Sports Television (CSTV) will offer two hours of live coverage at the NCAA Championships Friday from 8-10 p.m. ET (5-7 p.m. PT). While neither Irish athlete is scheduled to compete during the broadcast window, it is possible Loomis could be wrapping up the high jump competition and/or highlights of that event will be shown during CSTV’s coverage.

— ND —

June 8, 2006
Sacramento, Calif. (Hornet Stadium/A.G. Spanos Sports Complex)

MEN’S 800-METER RUN SEMIFINALS: 1. Joseph Lomong (Northern Arizona) 1:47.00; 8. Thomas Chamney (Notre Dame) 1:47.70.

MEN’S 10,000-METER RUN FINAL: 1. Josphat Boit (Arkansas) 28:37.64; 15. Tim Moore (Notre Dame) 29:36.59.