Track In A New York State of Mind For This Weekend's Meet

Feb. 5, 2002

Armory Collegiate Invitational
February 8-9, 2002
Armory Track & Field Center
New York, N.Y.

Track Teams Enter A New York State of Mind

* This weekend will see the Terps travel to the second annual Armory Collegiate Invitational to be held at the Armory Track and Field Center in New York City. Over 50 teams from across the nation will be competing. Highlighting the participants will be the 2001 NCAA Indoor Men's Champions LSU and the 2001 NCAA Outdoor Men's Champions Tennessee as well as 2000 NCAA Women's Outdoor Champions LSU. For a complete list of teams go to

Kura Continues To Bring Home Records and Accolades

* Senior Ruth Kura (Potomac, Md.) had another recording set weekend at the Meyo Invitational breaking her own record in the weight throw with a toss of 64-7.75 to give her first place. For her feat, she was named ACC Indoor Women's Track Athlete of the Week and University of Maryland Woman Student-Athlete of the Week. This is Kura's second ACC Athlete of the Week honor, her first coming Jan. 7. She has now automatically qualified for the NCAA Tournament that will be held March 8 and 9.

Relay Teams Shine for the Terps

* The women's team broke a school record in the 4x400-meter relay that had stood since 2000 at the Meyo Invitational this past weekend running a time of 3:40.39 that was good enough for second place. The team of senior Thema Napier (Columbia, Md.), junior Dionne Hamilton (Hampton, Va.), sophomore Toni Jefferson (Baltimore, Md.) and junior Tia Burley (Baltimore, Md.) provisionally qualified for the NCAA Tournament. They hold the ACC lead in the event by over 7 seconds.

* The men's 4x400-meter relay team also had a strong showing shaving six seconds off its season's best time, coming in third with a time of 3:15.04. The team of sophomore Harold Manning (Glen Burnie, Md.), senior Dave Benaderet (Baltimore, Md.) and freshmen Ian Moore (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) and Rob Frelow (White Plains, N.Y.) currently are third in the ACC and also have qualified for the IC4A Championships.

Teams Hold Spots in the Rankings

* According to the USATC Team Power Rankings as of Feb. 4, the women's team currently holds the 17th spot, while the men are at 32. The rankings are based on the quality of performances in dual meets of two top performers in each event.

Women Continue to Impress

* Senior Tracy Ojeniyi (Sewell, N.J.) once again claimed victory in the shot put at the Meyo Invitational with a toss of 47-11.25. It is Ojeniyi's second victory of the season in the shot put. She has finished no lower than third at any meet this season.

* Junior Punnie Chittchang (Mount Airy, Md.) pulled double duty by claiming second place in both the long jump and triple jump. She leads the team in both of these events for the season.

* Toni Jefferson also placed highly, coming in second in the 60 meters with a time of 7.55. She has finished in at least the top five at every meet in the 60. She is currently third in the ACC in the 60 trailing the leader by .03 seconds.

Hurdlers Help Men Leap Over Competition

* As expected, the strongest area for the men's team this season has been the 60-meter hurdles. Both seniors Phillip Barrett (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and Dontae Bugg (Newport News, Va.) rank in the top in the conference in the event.

* At the Meyo Invitational, Barrertt registered the second fastest time of his career at 8.03, coming in third in the event. He is currently third in the conference.

* Finally rounding back into form after battling through injuries, Bugg, who is fifth in the ACC, qualified for the IC4A Championships coming in with a time of 8.18 during the preliminaries at the Meyo.

Running Toward the Postseason

* The Terps currently have two women, in addition to the 4x400-meter relay team provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships to be held March 8 and 9 in Fayetteville, Ark. Junior Natalie Dye (Myersville, Md.) who qualified in the pole vault and Ojeniyi.

* The Terp women have 12 individual qualifiers for the ECAC Championships, in addition to the 4x400-meter relay team. Junior Dionne Hamilton (Hampton, Va.) is the newest qualifier, setting a new a career best time in the 400 at 57.23. Joining Hamilton are juniors Aranda Brown (Schenectady, N.Y.), Devenn Hamilton (Hamilton, Va.), Heather Houston (Fort Washington, Md.), senior Amber Stanley (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) along with Burley, Chittchang, Dye, Houston, Jefferson, Kura, Napier and Ojeniyi.

* For the men, juniors John Collins ( Clarksburg, Md.) and Adrian Nelson (Washington, D.C.) join Barrett, Bugg and Manning as having a spot for the IC4A Championships.

Track Contact: Chris Stuchko
Fax: 301-314-9094