March 10, 2006
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Senior Stephanie Madia (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) and the Notre Dame men’s distance medley relay team sparkled on Friday night, garnering All-America honors with top-six finishes at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, which are being held at the Randall Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark.
Madia took fourth place in the 5,000 meters in a personal-best time of 15:59.01 to claim her second career All-America citation on the track (first indoors) and her fourth All-America designation overall, coupled with a pair of honors in cross country. In addition, Madia is the first indoor track All-American for the Irish women’s team since 2004, when Stacey Cowan (high jump), Molly Huddle (3,000m/5,000m) and Kerry Meagher (mile) each attained that status.
Meanwhile, the Irish quartet of senior Ryan Postel (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic), sophomore John Cavanaugh (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph’s), sophomore Adam Currie (Verdun, Quebec/Richelieu Valley) and junior Kurt Benninger (Chepstow, Ontario/Walkerton D.S.S.) placed sixth in the distance medley relay with a time of 9:40.61, marking the second consecutive year Notre Dame has ended up in that No. 6 position (tying the highest NCAA finish in school history) and the fourth time in the past decade an Irish men’s DMR unit has received All-America accolades. Benninger picked up his third track All-America citation (fifth overall), while Currie gained his second All-America plaque — both men were members of last year’s sixth-place distance medley relay squad. For Cavanaugh and Postel, it was their first career All-America honor.
Junior Thomas Chamney also had a successful evening on Friday, as he qualified for the finals in the 800-meter run with the fifth-fastest time in the preliminary heats (1:49.94). The Irish national actually placed fifth in his heat, but NCAA rules require the top two finishers in each heat to be awarded automatic berths into the final, so he will be seeded seventh for Saturday’s final.
Freshman Ramsey Kavan (Yankton, S.D./Yankton) saw action in her first NCAA Championships on Friday, competing in the preliminaries of the mile run. The only rookie running in the field of 16, Kavan came in 14th overall with a time of 4:49.63 and did not advance to the finals.
Chamney and Benninger will take center stage for the Irish on Saturday night as the NCAA Championships wind to a close. Already guaranteed his first career All-America plaque just by qualifying for the eight-man 800-meter final, Chamney will run at 6:35 p.m. CT (7:35 p.m. ET in South Bend), with Benninger scheduled to race in the 3,000 meters one hour later at 7:35 p.m. CT (8:35 p.m. ET). Benninger owns the third-fastest time in the 15-man field (a school-record mark of 7:52.28 at the Meyo Invitational last month), and he will be seeking to become just the third male in school history to amass six combined career All-America honors — Ryan Shay had nine from 1999-2002, while Luke Watson piled up eight from 1999-2003.
A full recap of Notre Dame’s performances in the 2006 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships will be available as soon as possible on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.und.com) and the Notre Dame Sports Hotline (574-631-3000). The schedule/results for Irish athletes at the NCAA meet is as follows:
Friday, March 10
Men’s 800-meter run preliminary (Thomas Chamney, 7th – 1:49.94 — qualifier)
Women’s mile run preliminary (Ramsey Kavan, 14th – 4:49.63 — did not qualify)
Women’s 5,000-meter run final (Stephanie Madia, 4th – 15:59.01)
Men’s distance medley relay final (Notre Dame, 6th – 9:40.61)
Saturday, March 11
6:35 p.m. (CT) — Men’s 800-meter run final (Chamney)
7:35 p.m. — Men’s 3,000-meter run final (Benninger)
— ND —