March 20, 2005

Tucscon, Ariz. – Sophomore sprinter Maryann Erigha opened the outdoor season with a personal-best performance on the way to a victory in the women’s 200-meter dash to highlight action as the Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams competed over the weekend in the Willie Williams Classic at the University of Arizona.

Erigha bettered her previous career-best time of 23.70 seconds in the victory, crossing the finish line in a time of 23.67 to edge USC’s Carol Rodriguez (23.76) and Central Arizona’s Angelique Smith (23.81). Erigha’s performance also bettered the qualifying standard for the NCAA Regional meet that will take place in May, a competition that will determine participants in the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Notre Dame’s Okechi Ogbuokiri was eighth in the 200 with a time of 24.79.

A total of 26 student-athletes from Notre Dame competed in the meet held Friday and Saturday at Roy P. Drachman Stadium in Tucson, Ariz., the first competition for the Irish in the 2005 outdoor season.

In the women’s 400 meters, Ogbuokiri placed second in a career-best time of 55.06 seconds, a marked improvement over her previous personal best of 56.88 set in 2004. Crysta Swayzer was sixth for the Irish in 56.97. USC’s Tracee Thomas won the event in a time of 54.03.

A summary of how other Notre Dame athletes fared in the meet:

*Domenique Manning of Notre Dame was fourth in the women’s 100-meter hurdles in a time of 14.49 seconds,

*The women’s 4×100-meter relay unit of Manning, Erigha, Brienne Davis and Swayzer placed fourth in 46.58 seconds.

*In the women’s high jump, Notre Dame’s Cassie Gullickson was second with a clearance of 1.60 meters (5 feet, 3 inches).

*In the women’s long jump, Notre Dame’s Petra Dankova was third with a leap of 5.50 meters (18 feet, 1/2 inch).

*Dankova added a third-place finish in the women’s triple jump with a leap of 11.70m (38-4 3/4) while Irish teammate Cassie Gullickson was fifth at 10.95m (35-11 1/4).

*Meghan Horn seventh in the women’s shot put with a toss of 13.94 meters (45-9).

*In the women’s javelin, the Irish’s Kate Duman placed eighth with a toss of 41.91 meters (137-6).

*In the men’s high jump, Notre Dame’s Chris Staron placed fifth with a clearance of 1.95 meters (6-4 3/4) while teammate Chris Jacques was ninth at 1.90m (6-2 3/4).

*Chris Jacques was sixth in the men’s long jump with a leap of 6.66 meters (21-10 1/4).

*In the men’s hammer throw, Chip Roberts was seventh with a throw of 48.13 meters (157-11). Notre Dame’s Garet Koxlein was eighth at 46.41 meters (152-3).

*In the men’s javelin, Notre Dame’s Derek Goguen was seventh with a throw of 59.91 meters (196-7).

The outdoor season will continue next weekend, Friday and Saturday, March 25-26, when the Irish will travel to the Stanford Invitational at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.