March 4, 2002
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - This past weekend was a busy one for the Terp track and field teams as they had representatives compete in three different meets.
A last second change took the women's 4x400-meter relay team from the U.S. Track and Field Championships to the Alex Wilson Invitation held in South Bend, Ind. The change of scenery did little to impact the team of senior Thema Napier (Columbia, Md.), junior Devenn Hamilton (Hampton, Va.), sophomore Toni Jefferson (Baltimore, Md.) and junior Tia Burley (Baltimore, Md.) as they raced to a school record of 3:37.87 to finish second. It is the second time the team has broken the previous school record this season, both times coming at the Loftus Sports Complex.
Senior Ruth Kura (Potomac, Md.) competed as scheduled in the U.S. Track and Field Championships and had a strong showing. She finished eighth overall in the weight throw, but fourth among the college competitors. Kura advanced to the finals of the weight throw competition with a toss of 62-8.75 but fouled three times during the round hurting her chances to better her distance. She was in high company throwing against the six-time defending U.S. champion and world record holder Dawn Ellerbe, who finished second. Kura, who currently ranks sixth in the country at 66-9.25, will be in action next weekend at the NCAA Championships to be held in Fayetteville, Ark.
The third meet the Terps competed in was the ECAC/ IC4A Championships held in Boston on Saturday and Sunday. Seniors Phillip Barrett (Upper Marlboro, Md.), Amber Stanley (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Tracy Ojeniyi (Sewell, N.J.) and junior Punnie Chittchang (Mount Airy, Md.) led the charge and gained All-East honors, finishing at least in the top eight of their respective events.
Barrett was the team's highest finisher coming in second in the 60-meter hurdles. His time of 7.93 also set a new career best for Barrett and gave him the lowest time of the season on the team.
Stanley followed up a strong performance at the ACC Championships by finishing fourth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.58. It is the second week in a row she ran the time and also finished fourth at the ACC Championships.
With a jump of 19-4.25, Chittchang leaped her way to fifth in the long jump. It was her second longest jump of the season, falling just short of her season best of 19-6.25.
Ojeniyi rounded out the All-East performers by finishing sixth in the shot put with a toss of 47-3.50. It is her second season in a row earning All-East honors. Last year she finished fifth.
Freshman Rob Frelow (White Plains, N.Y.) had a strong performance in the 400-meter preliminary with a time of 47.96, which was the second fastest qualifying time but was tripped up in the finals.
This weekend select Terps will close out the indoor portion of the season at the NCAA Outdoor Championships to be held in Fayetteville, Ark.
Track Contact: Chris Stuchko