April 23, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
This weekend's University of Pennsylvania Relay Carnival will offer Maryland track and field teams the chance to bounce back from disappointing outings at the ACC Outdoor Championships last week. At the Penn Relays, the Terps will be competing for NCAA regional and IC4A/ECAC qualifying times while vying against some of the nation's best track and field athletes.
Sprinting In The City Of Brotherly Love
The Penn Relays will be held at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa., from April 24 through 26. The event was founded in 1895 and is one of the nation's most prestigious track and field competitions.
The event features 33 hours of competition with more than 425 races. Attending the Carnival are athletes from elementary, middle and parochial schools, junior high and high schools, prep schools, colleges and clubs. Athletes are eligible to compete after meeting specified qualifying standards for each level.
Thursday's competition begins at 10 a.m. with the college women's 400 hurdles and pole vault championships and ends at 10:10 p.m. with college men's Olympic development 10,000 meter race. Field events conclude with the college women's javelin throw at 3:15 p.m.
Friday's competition is kicked off by the high school boys' 4x800 meter relay at 9 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. with the corporate distance medley. Field events finish at 3 p.m. with the college men's pole vault.
Rounding out the last day of competition is the 10,000 meter walk at 7 a.m., with track events concluding at 5:55 p.m. with the college men's 4x400 meter relay championship. Field events conclude with the Olympic development women's long jump at 4 p.m.
The Quest For Qualifying Marks
Thus far into the season, two Terp women have posted NCAA Regional qualifying times. Senior Natalie Dye posted her highest qualifying mark at the ACC Outdoor Championships, where she broke her own pole vault record with a leap of 12-8. Freshman Kierra Foster has qualified in the long jump, thanks to a record-setting jump of 20-8 at the Alabama Relays.
Other women posting ECAC qualifying times include senior Aranda Brown in the hammer (160-5), junior Teyarnte' Carter in the 100 (11.98), Toni Jefferson in the 200 (24.63) and senior Devenn Hamilton in the 400 (55.17). Also posting qualifying marks were two additional long jumpers: senior Punnie Chittchang (19-0.25) and freshman Heather Houston (19-2.75).
The 4x100 relay squad of Jefferson, Foster, Carter and freshman Tiffany Johnson qualified for the ECAC Championships with a time of 46.86, as has the 4x400 squad with a time of 3:47.47. Runners in the 4x400 relay team include Carter, Hamilton, senior Dionne Hamilton and freshman Kelly Wallace.
Sophomore Rob Frelow is the only IC4A qualifier for the men's team so far, with his time of 48.02 in the 400.
ACC Outdoor Championships Action
The 2003 ACC Outdoor Championships were held in Raleigh, N.C., April 18 and 19. Both Maryland teams struggled to overcome injuries to key athletes, finishing ninth in the team standings.
Individual highlights included Dye's school-record 12-8 pole vault, which gave her second place and All-ACC honors. Other top finishes included Devenn Hamilton taking eighth in the 400 meter dash, Brown finishing sixth in the hammer, Carter taking sixth in the 100 meter dash and Foster finishing eighth in the 100.
Foster also took ninth in the triple jump with a distance of 38-1.25. Junior thrower Labelle Hillgrove finished ninth in the shot put and 12th in the discus.
On the men's side, the top finish was recorded by senior Adrian Nelson in the high jump, placing seventh with a height of 6-7.5. Junior Mike Prada took ninth in the 10,000 meter run with a time of 31:28.00, followed by sophomore Florent Groberg in 10th.
Three Terps set season-best times while running the 5,000 meter run on Saturday. These included freshmen Pat McHenry (15:26.87) and Dan Ryan (15:33.83), and sophomore Eric Marenburg (15:51.92).