Feb. 21, 2004
Syracuse, N.Y. – Notre Dame sophomore distance runner Molly Huddle set a new BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field Championship record when she won the 5,000 meter championship Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome by over 32 seconds. Huddle turned in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 15:57:23, setting not only a BIG EAST record but a Carrier Dome mark. Villanova’s Jennifer Rhines set the previous BIG EAST and Carrier Dome records in 1994 when she ran the 5,000 meters in 16:02.67.
Huddle’s record-setting run led the Irish to 29 points and third place after the first six events in the conference championship. The Irish trail Miami and Pittsburgh by 11 points for first place and have a four-point lead on fourth-place Georgetown.
Also contributing to Notre Dame’s scoring was sophomore Stacey Cowan who finished fourth in the pentathlon with 3,437 points. For the five events in the pentathlon, Cowan finished ninth in the 60-meter hurdles (9.29), first in the high jump (5′-9-1/2′, 1.76 meters), ninth in the long jump (16′-8-1/2′, 5.09 meters), fifth in the shot put (34′-9-1/1′, 10.60 meters) and ninth in the 800 meters (2:33.48).
Notre Dame placed two in the top-seven of the pole vault as sophomore Dee Dee Bryant and senior Jill VanWeelden tied for fifth-place with jumps of 11′-5-3/4″ (3.50 meters).
In the distance medley, the Irish foursome of junior Lauren King, freshman Okechi Ogbuokiri, senior Megan Johnson and junior Kerry Meagher finished second in an NCAA provisional time of 11:32.95 to close out the top Irish finishers on Saturday.
The Notre Dame men’s track team goes into Sunday’s finals at the Carrier Dome in second place as the Irish trail first-place Connecticut by 12 points after the first five events.
The Irish lead third-place Georgetown (20) by 17 points and fourth-place Virginia Tech (19) by 18 points as they look to defend their 2002 BIG EAST Indoor Track title.
Notre Dame’s men scored in all five finals ran on Saturday. The Irish got off to a fast start, picking up 12 points in the 35-lb. weight throw. Senior Juan Alba finished second with a throw of 59′-3″ (18.06 meters) and junior Chip Roberts was fifth with a throw of 54′-9-1/4″ (16.69 meters).
Freshman Jason Oppel gave Notre Dame a seventh-place finish in the pole vault as he recorded a jump of 15′-3′ (4.65 meters) in his first-ever appearance at the BIG EAST Championships.
In the final field event on Saturday, the Irish saw senior Godwin Mbagwu finish fourth in the long jump with a jump of 23′-1-1/4″ (7.04 meters). On the track, Notre Dame picked up points in the 5,000 meters and the Distance Medley Relay.
In the 5,000 meters, sophomore Kaleb VanOrt finished second in a time of 14:25.90 and senior Todd Mobley was fourth as he finished the race in 14:39.11. In the distance medley, the Irish team of Eric Morrison, Mark Barber, Thomas Chamney and Vincent Ambrico, finished fourth with a time of 10:02.87.
For Sunday’s finals, both the men and women qualified several athletes. On the women’s side, in the 60-meters, the Irish will have three runners in action as Kristen Dodd (7.68) and Maryann Erigha (7.55) finished one-two in the same heat to advance and Ayesho Boyd was second in her heat (7.63) to advance. Boyd also qualified for the 200 meters as she recorded a time of 24.94 to finish third in her race, but was among the top eight times on Saturday.
Dodd also won her heat in the 400 meters in a time of 54.80 and will be joined by Tricia Floyd who ran a 57.74 to finish second in her race to advance.
Junior Tiffany Gunn will run in Sunday’s finals of the 500 meters and 60-meter hurdles after qualifying in both on Saturday. Gunn won her heat in the 500 meters in a time of 1:15.19 and was third in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.67.
Meagher also qualified for the 1,000 meters as she finished seventh in qualifying with a time of 2:51:93.
Sunday’s events at the Carrier Dome begin at 11:00 a.m. for the women with the 1,000 meter run.
For the men, in the 60-meters, Selim Nurudeen and Dwight Ellick will run after finishing with the third and fourth quickest times in the trials. Nurudeen finished first in his heat with a 6.65 while Ellick was second in his heat in a time of 6.86. Ellick also qualified in the 200 meters as he finished first in his heat with a time of 21.60. Nurudeen will also run in the 60-meter hurdles on Sunday as he won his heat in 7.78.
Ryan Postel and Jordan Powell will both run in the 400 meters on Sunday as they turned in first and second in their respective trials. Postel turned in a qualifying time of 48.45 while Powell ran his race in 49.45.
Trevor McClain-Duer was second in his heat in the 500 meters, finishing second in his heat in 1:03.54. In the 800 meters, Chamney moved on to Sunday’s finals as he ran a 1.54.19 to finish third in his trial for the seventh-best time of the day. Senior Kevin Somok qualified for the 1,000 meters with a time of 2:28.24, the fourth-best qualifying time of the day.
For all the up-to-date results check www.bigeast.org.
Women's Team Standings1. Pittsburgh 40 Miami 403. Notre Dame 294. Georgetown 265. Syracuse 216. Boston College 177. Villanova 168. West Virginia 159. Virginia Tech 910. Rutgers 711. Seton Hall 612. Connecticut 313. St. John's 314. Providence 1
Men's Team Standings1. Connecticut 502. Notre Dame 373. Georgetown 204. Virginia Tech 195. Miami 166. Providence 147. Rutgers 138. Pittsburgh 10 Villanova 1010. Syracuse 411. Boston College 2