June 12, 2004
The University of Notre Dame women’s track and field team brought home two All-America honors at the NCAA Outdoor Championship in Austin, Texas, Saturday night. Sophomore Molly Huddle landed the seventh All-America honor of her young career by taking third in the 5,000 meters and has quickly become the most decorated female athlete in Notre Dame track and field history. In addition, junior Kerry Meagher earned her second All-America honor of the year by finishing ninth in the 1,500 meters.
Huddle’s third-place finish matches the school record for the highest finish at the NCAA outdoor meet, equaling the efforts of JoAnna Deeter in the 10,000 meters (1999) and Tameisha King in the long jump (2003). Huddle crossed the finish line in 16:25.44, with Providence’s Kim Smith winning the event in 15:48.86.
Huddle, a native of Elmira, N.Y., also matches the school record for track All-America efforts in the same season. Placing in the top eight in the indoor 3,000 meters, indoor 5,000 meters and outdoor 5,000 meters, she matches Liz Grow (2002, indoor 400 meters, outdoor 400 meters, outdoor 4×400-meter relay) and JoAnna Deeter (1999, indoor 5,000 meters, outdoor 5,000 meters, outdoor 10,000 meters) in that category.
Meagher finished ninth in the finals of the 1,500 meters, completing the race in 4:21.26. The ninth-place finish gives the junior her second All-America honor of the year, as she also finished seventh in the indoor mile at the NCAA meet. The ninth-place finish caps a stellar third season for the Allentown, Pa., native, as she established herself as one of the top harriers on the NCAA 10th-place women’s cross country team – then earned her first two All-America certificates of her career during the 2004 track season.
Meagher also becomes just the second Notre Dame women’s distance runner to earn All-America accolades in the 1,500 meters at the outdoor meet. Teammate and classmate Lauren King finished sixth in 2002.
Tiffany McWilliams of Mississippi State won the 1,500 meters on Saturday evening in 4:11.59.
Sophomore Stephanie Madia also competed on Saturday night, appearing in her first NCAA track and field meet. Madia finished 22nd in the 5,000 meters, crossing the finish line in 17:29.44.