May 3, 2003
So far, so good for the University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams at the 2003 BIG EAST Outdoor Championship in Storrs, Conn. Both Irish teams are in reach of the ultimate goal, the team titles, after the first full day of competition on Saturday. The women lead the field with 46 points, while the men also have 46 points, good enough for second place behind Connecticut.
Individually, Luke Watson claimed his third 3,000-meter steeplechase BIG EAST Championship in the last four years with a 8:49.45 effort. Watson had previously won the steeplechase in 2000 and 2002. He will be among the top contenders for the 5,000-meter title on Sunday.
Tameisha King led the way for the women on the first day, winning her first outdoor individual long jump title with a 6.61m measurement. It is King’s second overall individual BIG EAST win, after taking the 60-meter hurdle title at this year’s indoor meet. In similar fashion to Watson, King is not done yet. She is the second-fastest qualifier for the 100-meter hurdles after running 13.52 on Saturday. She also will run in the finals of the 100 meters after posting the fifth-fastest preliminary time.
Here is a quick breakdown of the noteworthy events for both teams on Saturday –
Ryan Hurd moved on to the finals of the 200 meters, posting a 21.63 effort in the third heat. He has the sixth-fastest time entering Sunday’s final race. Ryan Postel also moved on to the finals, this time in the 400 meters, running 47.78 in heat two. He is the seventh-fastest qualifier.
Notre Dame will miss out on points in the 800 meters, as Thomas Chamney was unable to work into the top eight for the finals. He finished 15th after the preliminary races with a time of 1:52.84.
The 1,500 meters, on the other hand, will have three Irish runners in the finals. Eric Morrison (3:52.77) and Kevin Somok (3:51.13) are fourth and fifth after their prelim races, respectively. Vinnie Ambrico came through in 10th with a 3:51.91 effort.
In the finals of the men’s 10,000 meters, freshman Tim Moore took third place to claim all-BIG EAST honors. Moore finished behind Rod Koborsi (Georgetown) and Paul Reilly (Providence) in 30:31.13.
The men’s 110-meter hurdles was a highlight for the Irish, as sophomore Selim Nurudeen ripped off the fastest qualifying time with a blistering 13.85 race. Teammate Mark Barber also will be in the finals with a 14.66 (eighth-fastest).
Notre Dame should also pick up some significant points toward the team title in the 400-meter hurdles on Sunday. Napolean Suarez (53.55, second), Barber (53.03, third) and Roberto Garcia (55.73, sixth) will all be in the final race.
Chris Staron earned all-BIG EAST honors in the high jump, clearing 2.07m to finish behind Mike Deibler (Connecticut, 2.12m) and Kevin Hester (Rutgers, 2.07m).
Senior Tom Gilbert posted four points toward the team effort in the long jump, finishing fifth overall with a 7.12m measurement.
Juan Alba enjoyed his first outdoor all-BIG EAST performance on Saturday, taking third in the discus throw (50.66m). Chip Roberts (sixth, 47.93m) also scored for Notre Dame.
The women’s sprint group showed well on Saturday, biding their time for Sunday’s final races. Senior Kymia Love came through and moved on to the finals in the 100 meters (11.82) and 200 meters (23.76). She is the third-fastest qualifier in the 100 and fourth-fastest in the 200.
Kristen Dodd moved on to the finals of the 400 meters, grabbing the eighth and final spot in the race with a 54.59.
In the 1,500 meters, Lauren King and Stephanie Madia will be able to pull each other in the finals on Sunday. King put up the fifth-fastest time of 4:24.51, while Madia was ninth in 4:26.98.
Senior Jennifer Handley finished second in the 10,000 meters on Saturday evening, earning her second-career all-BIG EAST outdoor award. She was joined on the all-BIG EAST podium by teammate and classmate Jaime Volkmer, who finished second in the pole vault by clearing 3.80m. Laura Huarte (3.50m, sixth) and Jill Van Weelden (3.50m, seventh) also scored for the women’s team in the pole vault.
The women’s throw team, led by freshman Meghan Horn, came through with four team points in the shot put, finishing fifth with a 13.85m toss. She just missed scoring in the discus, taking ninth place with a 40.77m measurement. Sophomore Kate Duman scored three team points in the javelin, tossing the stick 39.62m.
The final all-BIG EAST honor of the day was earned by freshman Stacey Cowan in the heptathlon. She took third place with 4,412 points.
The BIG EAST outdoor meet continues all day tomorrow, Sunday, May 4.