May 8, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
With the ECAC/IC4A Championships looming just around the corner, this Sunday's James Madison Invitational is the last opportunity for Terps track athletes to reach qualifying marks. The meet will be held at Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg, Va.
A Look At Last Year's James Madison Invite
The Terp women set two new school records at last year's meet, both of which still stand as of this season. Senior Thema Napier established a new career best and school record in the 400-meter hurdles, winning the event with a time of 58.27. This bested her previous career best of 58.63 which she set at the 1999 ECAC Outdoor Championships.
The other record-setting performance of the day was given by senior Ruth Kura, who established a new career and school record in the hammer throw with a toss of 182-0. The throw eclipsed the old school record of 180-10 set by Cathy Porter in 1999 and gave her first place in the event.
Pole vaulter Natalie Dye qualified for the ECAC Championships thanks to a season-high jump of 11-11.75. Tia Burley set a new career-best time of 53.75 in the 400 meter dash, finishing second.
Sprinter Toni Jefferson also had a strong meet, claiming victory in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.73. Teammate Rashida Twiggs finished third in that event with a season-best time of 12.15.
Rob Frelow helped represent the men's team, placing fifth in the 200 meter dash with a time of 47.55. In the field events, James Gondak threw a 170-4.5 in the hammer throw to earn fourth.
Patriot Open Recap
Last weekend the Terps had a highly successful outing at the Patriot Open, hosted by George Mason. The teams pulled in multiple top-10 finishes and another new school record.
Highlighting the day was freshman distance runner Shari Gorga, who broke the school record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase by nearly 40 seconds. Her time of 11:33.60 was achieved in only her second time ever running the event.
Claiming individual victories were juniors Heather Houston and Labelle Hillgrove. Hillgrove threw the discus 137-5.5 and Houston's 19-6 jump qualified her for the ECAC Championships.
Second place finishes for the women's team were recorded by freshman Bria Johnson in the discus (128-1.5), senior Natalie Dye in the pole vault (12-4), senior Aranda Brown in the hammer (146-5) and senior Devenn Hamilton in the 400 meter dash (55.10).
The men's team also earned several top-10 finishes, thanks to sophomore Rob Frelow, who took fourth in the 400 (47.81) and junior Harold Manning, who placed fifth in the 200 (21.81). Sophomore Florent Groberg ran a 3:57.02 in the 1,500 meter run, placing seventh.
Junior Beau Fay turned in a great day in his hometown, netting second in the discus with a personal-best throw of 144-3. He also placed sixth in the hammer (158-0.5) and seventh in the shot put (44-2.75).
The women's team boasts eight individual athletes already qualified for post-season action, including two NCAA Regional qualifiers. Additionally, both the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relay teams have reached the ECAC qualifying standard.
ECAC-qualified individuals include: Brown, hammer (164-1); junior Teyarnte' Carter, 100 meter dash (11.98); junior Labelle Hillgrove, discus (145-3); freshman Kierra Foster, 100 meter hurdles (14.13); Dye, pole vault (12-9.5); Hamilton, 400 meter dash (55.10); and Jefferson in the 200 (24.25).
Three long jumpers will compete in the ECACs: Foster (20-8), senior Punnie Chittchang (19-0.25) and Houston (19-6).
The top marks of 20-8 and 12-9.5 set by Foster and Dye have qualified them for NCAA Regionals and are new school records in their events.
The men's team have two individuals qualified for the IC4A Championships: Frelow in the 400 meter dash (47.81) and senior Mike Prada in the 10,000 meter run (30:56.96).
Sun., May 11: James Madison Invitational, Harrisonburg, Va.
Fri.-Sun., May 16-18: ECAC/IC4A Championships, Princeton, N.J.
Fri.-Sat., May 30-31: NCAA Regionals, Fairfax, Va.
Wed.-Sun., June 11-14: NCAA Outdoor Championships, Sacramento, Calif.