Feb. 13, 2001
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Maryland track teams will travel to Blacksburg, Va., on Friday and Saturday to compete at the ACC Indoor Championships.
Both the men's and women's teams have gained some momentum of late, turning in strong performances at the Patriot Games and Penn State National Open in the last two weeks. Last week, the women cracked the top 10 in the National Dual Meet Power Rankings, compiled by Idaho State University.
This weekend's meet will provide an opportunity for the Maryland women to measure themselves against the rest of the ACC -- a challenge head coach Bill Goodman is eager to engage.
"We're pretty excited about the opportunity to go down there and see where we are in terms of the rest of the conference," Goodman said. "Our expectations this year, because of things we did last year, are high. But we still have a fairly young team."
The women's team placed third last year at both the ACC Indoor Championships and the ACC Outdoor Championships. Goodman thinks the Terps will among the teams fighting for positioning in the standings,
"There will be about five teams fighting it out for those top five spots," Goodman said. "I expect us to be among those five teams. We're going to lay it out there and see what we can do."
In addition, the Terps will look to qualify team members for postseason competition. Many of the team's top performers have already qualified for the Eastern Colleges Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships, but many are still aiming for NCAA qualifying marks.
Senior Vanessa Jones (Olney, Md.), last year's ACC Champion in the high jump, will be among those the Terps will be counting on for leadership and experience at the meet. In addition, junior Ruth Kura (Potomac, Md.) will look to continue her recent dominance in the weight throw. Kura has established a new school record in that event three separate times this time, and she currently holds an NCAA provisional qualifying mark.
On the men's side, the Terps will be led by senior Cedrick Rogers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) in the long jump, as well as juniors Dontae Bugg (Newport News, Va.) and Phillip Barrett (Upper Marlboro, Md.) in the hurdles. The men's team also figures to get strong performances from throwers John Collins (Clarksburg, Md.) and James Gondak (Doylestown, Pa.).