April 16, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
After a bitterly disappointing finish at the ACC Indoor Championships in February, the Terp women's track team has another chance to prove itself a competitive force in the conference this year. Hampered by injuries but possessing the raw talent to get the job done, the Terps will face an uphill battle to reach their goal of finishing in the top half of the conference at this weekend's ACC Outdoor Championships. The men's team, also dealing with injuries to key athletes, will have to pull together as a squad in order to finish strong.
A Look At The 2003 ACC Outdoor Track And Field Championships
This year's competition will be held at N.C. State's Paul Deer Track and Field Stadium in Raleigh, N.C. The meet will take place Friday and Saturday, April 18-19.
Awards to be given out include the All-Conference team, which will be composed of the first, second and third place finishers in each event, plus all members of the first place relay teams. Other honors include Coach of the Year, Most Valuable Performer and Freshman of the Year.
Friday's competition begins at 10 a.m. with heptathlon events and the men's javelin and women's hammer toss. Friday will conclude with the men's 10,000 meter run at approximately 6:25 p.m.
Saturday's action starts with heptathlon and decathlon events at 10:30 a.m. and concludes at 5:40 p.m. with the women's 4x400 meter relay. The awards presentation will directly follow the conclusion of Saturday night's competition.
The 2002 ACC Outdoor Championships: Close But No Cigar
A series of close calls met the Terps at the 2002 ACC Outdoor Championships, as many athletes finished just out of All-ACC standings. The women's team finished seventh overall and the men's team broke a five-year last place finish streak to take eighth.
The top finishes for the team were posted by the 4x400 and 4x100 relay teams, which both took third place, edging out Georgia Tech.
One individual leader was Toni Jefferson, who posted a career-best time of 23.79 in the 200 meter dash to place fourth. She ran another career-best time of 11.64 in the preliminaries of the 100 meters, but finished fifth in the finals.
Also coming close to all-conference honors was Thema Napier, who ran a career-best time in the 400 meter dash preliminaries and placed fifth in the finals. She had a strong showing in the 100 meters as well, taking fourth place with a time of 13.79-only .04 seconds shy of her school record time. Another fourth place finish was recorded by Tia Burley in the 400 meters.
Several others athletes raked in fifth place finishes, including Punnie Chittchang in the triple jump and Ruth Kura in the hammer throw.
On the men's side, Rob Frelow ran a career-best time in the preliminaries of the 400 and raced to an eighth place finish in the finals. Ian Moore also set a career-best time in the 400 meter hurdles, placing seventh with a time of 53.90.
The senior hurdle tandem of Dontae Bugg and Phillip Barrett fittingly raced to the same exact time in the 110-meter hurdle final coming in at 14.70. After closer examination, Bugg was given the sixth place spot, while Barrett took home seventh.
Coming into this weekend's competition, several Terps possess spots in the ACC top-10 lists in their events. Most notable is freshman Kierra Foster, who leads the team with three top-10 performances. She currently holds sixth in the 100 meter hurdles, second in the long jump and eighth in the triple jump.
Also on the lists are senior Natalie Dye, fourth in the pole vault, and freshman Shari Gorga, second in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Long jumpers Heather Houston and Punnie Chittchang posted the ACC's seventh and eighth best performances, respectively.
Field athletes at the top of their game include senior Aranda Brown, holding seventh in the hammer, and junior Labelle Hillgrove, at ninth in the shot put.
Sophomore Rob Frelow represents the men's team, currently holding the ACC's eighth-fastest time in the 400 meter dash.
Recap Of The Miami Gatorade Invitational
The track and field teams sent several athletes to Coral Gables, Fla., last weekend with hopes of qualifying for NCAA Regionals. Dye and Foster competed as well, having already qualified for the regional competition.
Dye tied her own school record with a 12-6 jump that gave her third place. Foster ran a 14.15 to place sixth in the 100 meter hurdles, just .05 seconds away from the NCAA Regional qualifying standard. Foster, the school record holder in the long jump, took a fourth place finish in the event with a distance of 19-11.
Freshman Allison Carney led the way for the distance squad, finishing fifth in the 1500 meter run with a season-best time of 4:38.34. Senior Kim Smith came in less than one second behind in sixth and freshman Danielle Siebert placed eighth. In the 800 meter run, Carney ran a season-best time of 2:17.56 to finish 14th overall, with Siebert and Smith placing in 15th and 16th, respectively.
Other top finishers included junior Labelle Hillgrove, who took eighth in the discus and ninth in the shot put, and senior Aranda Brown, who placed fifth in the hammer with a career-best throw of 160-5.
For the men's team, sophomore Rob Frelow again led the way, finishing in third place in the 400 meter dash with a time of 48.02. Sophomore Florent Groberg represented the team in the distance events, placing eighth in the 1500 meter run with a time of 3:59.71 and 12th in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:58.45.
Thrower Beau Fay competed in three events for the Terps, his best finish occurring in the hammer where he placed sixth with a distance of 139-02. He also threw season-best distances to place seventh in the shot put and 10th in the discus.