May 16, 2004
The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams competed well over the weekend, walking away from the Georgia Tech Invitational with five new NCAA Mideast Regional qualifiers. The regional is set for May 28 and 29 in Baton Rouge, La., and this weekend’s invitational was a last chance for Irish athletes to qualify, or improve their season efforts, for the Mideast meet.
The five new qualifiers give the Irish men and women 12 individual athletes who have earned an appearance in the regional meet. The top three from the regional finals are automatically moved on to the NCAA Championship meet, while the rest of the field is filled out by at-large berths from across the country as well.
Freshman Maryann Erigha continued her outstanding late season accomplishments at Georgia Tech, qualifying for the NCAA regional in the 200 meters. Erigha finished third in section three, running a personal best 23.89 – a time that was 12th overall in the competition.
Junior three-time BIG EAST Champion Selim Nurudeen moved closer to his goal of appearing at the NCAA outdoor championship, running a season-best time in the 110-meter hurdles. Nurudeen finished third in heat two with a 13.76 time (the eighth-fastest in school history) to establish a new personal best. He eventually took third in the finals with a time of 13.84.
Junior Kerry Meagher enjoyed a solid meet by improving her season-best and regional-qualifying time in the 1,500 meters, taking second in section one with a 4.16.88 effort. That time was also second overall in the 1,500 meters. Meagher just missed the regional qualifying time in the 800 meters, finishing in 2:10.96 (the qualification time is 2:10.29).
Sophomore Derek Goguen improved his personal best over the weekend as well, tossing the javelin 61.80m to finish seventh overall in the competition. The 202-9 measurement ties the 10th-best mark in school history and qualifies Goguen for the NCAA regional meet.
Sophomore Molly Huddle, already the odds-on favorite for the NCAA Mideast Region 5,000-meter title, improved her season best time in the 1,500 meters, finishing ninth in section one (4:20.47) and ninth overall. That time is under the NCAA regional qualification mark.
Junior Lauren King pushed the Irish women’s 1,500-meter regional qualifier number to three by taking 11th in section one (14th overall), completing the run in 4:24.52.
Indoor All-American Stacey Cowan moved one step closer to making an appearance in her second straight NCAA outdoor championship, as her 1.78m (5-10) clearance at Georgia Tech ranks as her best of the outdoor season. It also qualifies her for the NCAA Mideast Regional. Cowan finished sixth in the competition.
Sophomore Thomas Chamney made a superb effort at a regional qualifying time in the highly competitive 800 meters, eventually missing the time by .23 seconds. Chamney finished fifth in section one (and 13th overall) in 1:50.85. The NCAA regional qualifying standard is 1:50.62. The time is a personal best for Chamney.
The men’s 1,500-meter group enjoyed a great meet as well, improving their regional qualifying times. Freshman Kurt Benninger finished fourth overall in 3:41.95, senior Kevin Somok took fifth in 3:42.26 and junior Eric Morrison ended up 11th in 3:44.92. All three of those times are improvements on season-best times for the Irish runners.
Other Irish competitor results at the Georgia Tech Invitational: Tricia Floyd, 33rd, 200 meters (56.51), Stephanie Madia, 28th, 1,500 meters (4:35.88), Lauren King, 38th, 800 meters (2:14.49), Madia, 47th, 800 meters (2:16.50), Tiffany Gunn, 12th, 400-meter hurdles (a season-best 1:00.21), Petra Dankova, 23rd, triple jump (11.95m), Megan Horn, 10th, discus (43.08m), Kate Duman, 8th, javelin (39.78m), Ryan Postel, 60th, 200 meters (21.87) and 25th, 400 meters (47.63), Trevor McClain- Duer, 29th, 400 meters (a season-best 47.80), Vinnie Ambrico, 20th, 1,500 meters (3:48.95), Ryan Johnson, 11th, steeplechase (a season-best 9:13.36), Chris Staron, 12th, high jump (2.00m – 6-6), Chip Roberts, 13th, hammer throw (52.85m).