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.

Six Track & Field Standouts Earn First-Team Academic All-District Honors

June 1, 2006

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Six members of the Notre Dame track & field team have been named to the 2006 ESPN The Magazine/College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District V First Team, it was announced Thursday. With the maximum of six nominees (three men/three women) earning the first-team academic all-district designation, the Irish had more selections than any other Division I school in the country, as no other institution fielded more than four honorees (Florida State, Nebraska, Oregon and Wisconsin).

Thanks to their first-team status in District V, the six Notre Dame track athletes — seniors Stacey Cowan (Ferndale, Wash./Ferndale), Stephanie Madia (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny), Tim Moore (Novi, Mich./Novi) and Sean O’Donnell (Kansas City, Mo./Rockhurst), as well as juniors Thomas Chamney (Tipperary, Ireland/St. Columba’s) and Maryann Erigha (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee) — will advance to the national ballot for Academic All-America® honors, which will be voted upon by members of the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Committee and winners announced June 20 (men) and 22 (women).

Thursday’s district selections have the Notre Dame track & field program poised to add to their lengthy history of Academic All-America® citations. Beginning with Theresa Rice’s first-team award in 1989, 13 Irish harriers have garnered the prestigious national academic honor a total of 17 times, with Cowan and O’Donnell being the most recent recipients with their third-team Academic All-America® certificates last year. As an institution, Notre Dame ranks second all-time with 166 Academic All-America honorees, including eight during the 2005-06 academic year.

Voting for the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District V Team was conducted by active CoSIDA members in that district, which encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario. To qualify, student-athletes must hold at least sophomore status, own a minimum GPA of 3.2 or better, and be a key contributor on the track for their team.

Cowan recently completed her college career as one of the top high jumpers and multi-event athletes in school history. She was a seven-time all-BIG EAST Conference selection, most recently taking second in the high jump at the 2006 BIG EAST Indoor Championships back in February in Akron, Ohio. In addition, she was a four-time qualifier in the high jump for the NCAA Championships (twice indoors, twice outdoors), having earned All-America honors in 2004 with a 10th-place finish. She owns four of the top eight indoor high jump marks and two of the top eight outdoor marks in school history, highlighted by a school-record indoor clearance of 5-11.5 (1.82 meters) at the 2004 BIG EAST Championships.

Off the track, Cowan was a standout in the classroom, compiling a 3.792 cumulative grade-point average in the College of Science, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in pre-professional studies last month. A three-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star, she also was named to the Dean’s List in both the fall 2004 and fall 2005 semesters, and last year, she was tapped as an ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Third-Team Academic All-America® selection. Furthermore, she recently was named as a recipient of an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, completing a rare triple crown of honors with her All-America and Academic All-America citations that only 18 other student-athletes in school history have been able to accomplish.

Madia is closing out a superb career that has seen her emerge as one of the top distance runners in the country. An All-American in both track and cross country each of the past two years, she finished third at this season’s NCAA Cross Country Championships, tying the best individual finish ever by a Notre Dame runner and leading to her selection as one of four finalists for the Honda Sports Award in cross country. She then went on to place sixth in the 5,000-meter run at this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships, resulting in her second track All-America plaque (and first during the indoor season). She was a qualifier for the NCAA Mideast Regional in both the 1,500 and 5,000 meters, and advanced to next week’s NCAA Championships (to be held in Sacramento, Calif.) in the 5,000 with a fifth-place regional finish. Last year, Madia was an All-American in the outdoor 5,000 meters with her fifth-place showing in the NCAA finals.

An exceptional student, Madia graduated from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business last month with a bachelor’s degree in finance, sporting a 3.48 cumulative GPA. She also was a Dean’s List selection and a two-year member of Notre Dame’s Academic Honors for Student-Athletes program. In addition, she was chosen as a recipient of the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete postgraduate stipend, which she plans to apply to her pursuit of an MBA in graduate studies.

Moore is a two-time cross country All-American (2004, 2005), who will be aiming to add his first track All-America citation to the trophy case when he competes in the 10,000-meter run at next week’s NCAA Outdoor Championships. Moore also had provisional qualifying marks for this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters, while also carding four top-15 cross country finishes, including a fifth-place showing at the BIG EAST Championships. All told, he has four all-BIG EAST certificates in cross country (the first Irish runner to do so), as well as seven all-conference track awards, including three this year (two indoor, one outdoor). A Dean’s List choice, Moore recently earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and mathematics in the Mendoza College of Business with a 3.38 cumulative GPA.

O’Donnell was a mainstay in the Irish lineup for both cross country and track, focusing on the longer distance events. He placed in the top 20 in four cross country races, including a seventh-place showing at the BIG EAST Championships, where he picked up his second all-league plaque and helped Notre Dame win its second consecutive team title, prior to a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships (the program’s best finish since 1990). Furthermore, he was part of the Irish men’s outdoor track & field squad that also won the conference championship, and he qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional in the 5,000 meters for the second consecutive year. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering last year with a 3.53 cumulative GPA, and earning third-team Academic All-America® plaudits along the way, O’Donnell has begun work on his MBA and currently holds a 3.48 GPA in his graduate studies.

Chamney has developed into a top middle distance runner for Notre Dame, earning All-America honors at this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships with his sixth-place finish in the 800 meters. What’s more, he has qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 800 meters after winning the NCAA Mideast Regional title in the event last weekend in Knoxville, Tenn. He also won the BIG EAST indoor 800-meter crown and finished second in the same race at the conference’s outdoor meet, giving the native Irishman five career all-BIG EAST plaudits. Last year, the colorful Chamney returned to his homeland and won the 800-meter gold at the Irish Under-23 National Championships before going on to a strong fifth-place outing in that event at the European U23 Championships. He presently maintains a 3.52 cumulative GPA in the College of Arts and Letters, where he is majoring in history and film, television & theater.

Erigha picked up her first academic all-district honor this year after a season in which she continued her emergence as one of the nation’s top young sprinters. In 2006, she qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional in three events (100, 200, 400 relay) and was a provisional qualifier for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 60 and 200 meters. What’s more, she won the BIG EAST indoor 60-meter title (her second career league individual crown) and now has amassed 10 all-BIG EAST selections in her first three years at the college level. Last year, she earned a berth in the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 100 and 200, but couldn’t race due to injury. She also is the school record holder in the indoor 60 meters, setting the new mark of 7.38 seconds at Notre Dame’s Alex Wilson Invitational on March 4.

Erigha presently holds a 3.79 cumulative GPA in the College of Arts of Letters, where she is a double major in sociology and computer applications. She also is a Dean’s List student and posted a perfect 4.0 GPA during the spring 2005 term, leading to her selection on last year’s BIG EAST Academic All-Star Team.

— ND —