Terp Track Begins Outdoor Season This Weekend

March 19, 2002

Alabama Relays
March 21 to 24, 2002
Sam Bailey Track and Field Complex
Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Sweet Home Alabama

? After a week off, both the men's and women's teams will open up the outdoor portion of their seasons this Thursday to Sunday at the Alabama Relays.

? It will be the second consecutive year the Terps have opened their indoor seasons competing at the event.

? Considered as on of the major outdoor events of the 2002 outdoor calendar, schools from across the country will be in attendance, including men's indoor national runner-up Alabama.

Live Results

? For up-to-the-minute results all weekend long, go to here. Results will be updated upon each event's completion.

What Happened At Last Year's Alabama Relays?

? Junior Tia Burley (Baltimore, Md.) had the team's highest finish at the Relays last season finishing second in the 200 meters (23.91) and also finished ninth in the 400 (55.85).

? Junior Natalie Dye (Myersville, Md.) also got off to quick start last year when she took third place in the pole vault (11-5.75).

? The long jump tandem of junior Punnie Chittchang (Mount Airy, Md.) junior Heather Houston both took home top-ten finishes in the long jump.

? On the men's side both seniors Phillip Barrett (Upper Marlboro, Md.) in the 110-meter hurdles and junior John Collins (Clarksburg, Md.) in the hammer toss scored top-15 finishes last season.

Women's Outdoor Season Preview

? No one comes into the outdoor season on more of a roll than senior Ruth Kura (Potomac, Md.). She was the first Terp since 1999 to claim All-American honors by finishing eighth in the weight throw at the recent NCAA Championships. She broke her own school record in the event by over five feet during the course of the season finishing the campaign with a throw of 66-9.25. She opens the season only with a career best (175-8) only a little over five feet shy of the school record in the hammer throw held by Cathy Porter (180-10).

? Senior Tracy Ojeniyi returns as this season's defending ACC Champion in the heptathlon (4723). She also finished second in the shot put (47-5.25). She is coming off a strong indoor season in which she gained All-East honors after finishing sixth in the shot put and had the third best season mark in the ACC shot put (49-0.25).

? Senior Thema Napier is the only other returning All-ACC Outdoor performer from last year. She finished third in the 400-meter hurdles (59.15) and also was an NCAA qualifier in the event. She holds the school record in both the 100 and 400-meter hurdle events.

? The hottest runner coming into the outdoor season is sophomore Toni Jefferson (Baltimore, Md.) who gained two ACC championships during the indoor season. Jefferson swept the 60 and 200-meter events to become the first woman in school history to claim a short sprint championship. She is a member of both the indoor and outdoor 4x400-meter relay school record holding teams.

Men's Outdoor Season Preview

? Ending the indoor season on a high note, Barrett looks to be a prime candidate to extend his performance to the outdoor track. Barrett finished second at the ECAC Indoor Championships in the 60-meter hurdles establishing a new career best (7.93) and also tied for the third best mark during the ACC season. He posted his career best in the 110-hurdles last outdoor season at the Maryland Invitational (14.52) and also finished eighth at the ACC Championships.

? Another prime candidate for a breakout outdoor season would be sophomore Harold Manning (Glen Burnie, Md.) who finished in the ACC's season top ten in both the 60 and 200-meters. He grabbed a fourth-place finish at the ACC Championships in the 60-meters (6.88) and improved as the season progressed. He was a member on last year's outdoor 4x100-meter relay team that placed fourth at the ACC Championships.

? Senior Dontae Bugg (Newport News, Va.) will look to close out his career in style during the outdoor season. Bugg finished sixth at last year's ACC Outdoor Championships in the 110-meter hurdles and will look to improve upon that this season. Bugg, a team captain, set his career best time in the 110-hurdles (14.42) at the ACC's last season. He finished with the seventh best time in the ACC in the 60-meter hurdles (8.17) this past season.

A Look Ahead

? Next up for the Terps will be their first home meet of the season April 6 at the Kehoe Track and Field Facility on campus. They will travel to the Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Ten., the weekend of April 12 and 13 before heading off to the ACC Outdoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va. April 19 and 20.

Track contact: Chris Stuchko
Phone: 301-314-1483
Fax: 301-314-9094