March 13, 2004
The 2004 indoor track and season is officially over for the University of Notre Dame track and field teams, but two members of the women’s team put a great cap on the season with All-America efforts on Saturday evening. Sophomore Molly Huddle became the first female in Notre Dame history to earn five All-America honors, taking seventh in the 3,000 meters. Junior Kerry Meagher landed her first All-America honor, placing seventh in the mile.
Huddle crossed the finish line in 9:13.67 for 3,000 meters, coupling her seventh-place finish with a third-place effort in the 5,000 meters on Friday. The Elmira, N.Y., native has amassed her five All-America certificates in just a year and a half of competition at Notre Dame (cross country, sixth – 2002, indoor 3,000 meters, ninth – 2003, outdoor 5,000 meters, fourth – 2003, indoor 5,000 meters, third – 2004, indoor 3,000 meters, seventh – 2004).
Huddle’s third-place effort on Friday evening in the 5,000 meters matches JoAnna Deeter’s third place 10,000-meter run in 1999 as the highest-ever for a Notre Dame female athlete at an NCAA national championship meet. Her five All-America honors are the most for a cross country/track and field athlete at Notre Dame, besting the four Liz Grow earned in 2001 and 2002 (three in the 400 meters, one relay).
Meagher made the most of her first opportunity to run in an NCAA Championship track and field meet, finishing seventh in the women’s mile to earn All-America honors. Meagher crossed the line in 4:40.67, a personal-best for the Allentown, Pa., native and a team best for the 2004 indoor season. Classmate Lauren King ended up 10th in the women’s mile field, posting a time of 4:50.57. Mississippi State’s Tiffany McWilliams won the mile in 4:32.24.
Sophomore Stacey Cowan continued on her path toward becoming one of the best high jumpers in the nation, as she finished 10th in the women’s high jump competition on Saturday. Cowan cleared 1.77m (5-9 3/4) with Georgia Tech’s Chaunte Howard winning the event by going over 1.92m (6-3 1/2).
From late Friday night, Meagher and King joined seniors Kristen Dodd and Megan Johnson to compete in the distance medley relay. The Irish team finished 10th in 11:22.33, just missing out on All-America honors (top eight in each event are named All-Americans).
As a team, the Notre Dame women finished 21st overall with 10 points scored.