April 18, 2004
The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams split in two different directions this weekend, with one group competing in the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., while the rest of the roster made the trip to Indianapolis for the Indy Relays run by Butler. Both groups were able to return to campus on Sunday with solid efforts over the weekend.
The Mt. SAC Relays provide some of the top competition from across the country and the Irish representatives took advantage to post several top times. Sophomore Ryan Postel won his section of the 400 meters in 47.41, a time which ended up fifth in the 32-man field.
Senior Ayesha Boyd won her section in the women’s 400 meters, crossing the finish line in 55.29 – a season best time.
Moving up the distance, sophomore Thomas Chamney continued to shave time off his season-best in the 800 meters. He won his section in 1:51.44, finishing 17th overall.
The women’s distance group was represented by sophomore Stephanie Madia and Molly Huddle. Both runners posted BIG EAST and NCAA regional qualifying efforts in the 5,000 meters – with Madia finishing 17th in the University/Open section (16:34.48) and Huddle taking eighth in the 5,000-meter Invitational run (15:32.55). Huddle’s time breaks her own school record, which she set as a freshman last season.
The men’s distance group saw senior Todd Mobley qualify for the BIG EAST meet in the 10,000 meters, finishing his race in 29:14.13 – good for 22nd in the Invitational race. Kevin Somok, Kurt Benninger and Eric Morrison also ran in the University/Open portion of the 1,500 meters. Somok finished second in his section (3:48.66), Benninger third in his (3:46.71) and Morrison 10th in his respective section (3:51.07).
Several sprint/hurdle times from the Mt. SAC Relays were unavailable at the time of this release.
Back in Indiana at the Indy Relays, Notre Dame took home three event victories while close to every Irish competitor improved his or her season-best time or mark. Sophomore Petra Dankova won her second-straight triple jump competition, following up her Tom Botts Invitational win with a 12.09m effort at the Indy Relays to finish first. Teammate Cassie Gullickson was right behind her in second (11.65m).
Sophomore Meghan Horn continues to improve in the throws category. First, she improved her season best measurement in the shot put, finishing fifth (12.80m). Horn then came back to win the discus competition with a 46.16m toss.
Freshman Todd Ptacek was the third event winner for Notre Dame in Indianapolis, finishing first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and qualifying for the BIG EAST Championship with a 9:14.40 effort. Senior David Alber also qualified for the BIG EAST meet by finishing second in 9:23.03.
The 400-meter hurdles was good to the men’s team, with Napolean Suarez (second, 53.53), Roberto Garcia (fourth, 54.42) and Alex Fortunato (fifth, 54.91) all improving their season-best and BIG EAST qualifying times.
On the short track, senior Ryan Hurd enjoyed his best outdoor effort of the 2004 season, qualifying for the BIG EAST outdoor meet in both the 100 and 200 meters. Hurd finished fifth in the 100 meters (11.05) and third in the 200 meters (21.76).
The Irish teams will split up again next weekend when they compete in both the Drake Relays and the Purdue Invitational.