May 3, 2003
FAIRFAX, Va. - The Terps track teams came to Fairfax, Va., with visions of victory in their minds. With key athletes finally overcoming injuries, the squads were nearly at full strength at this Saturday's Patriot Open at George Mason. Together, the Terps unleashed a fury of top-10 finishes and new personal and school records.
Smashing the school record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase was freshman Shari Gorga, in only her second time ever running the event. Her time of 11:33.60 eclipsed the previous record of 12:14.02 set by Marjorie Bollinger in 2001.
Another star performer for the women's team was junior Heather Houston, whose long jump of 19-6 gave her first place and qualified her for NCAA Regionals. Joining her in the long jump was freshman Tiffany Johnson, who jumped a 17-11.5 to place fifth. Pole vaulter Natalie Dye took home second place with her jump of 12-4.
Junior Labelle Hillgrove again led the Terp throwers, claiming victory in the discus with a toss of 137-5.5. The Terps nearly swept the top three spots in that event, with freshmen Bria Johnson in second (128-1.5) and Zakiya Shivers in fourth (122-8). Hillgrove also topped the team in the shot put, placing third with a distance of 141-10.5. Johnson threw a personal best distance of 41-3 in that event to take fifth. In the hammer throw, senior Aranda Brown tossed a 146-5 to place second overall, with Johnson behind her in sixth.
Distance runners performing well were freshmen Danielle Siebert and Allison Carney. Siebert finished sixth in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:13.85 and seventh in the 1,500 meter run, finishing in 4:40.22. Carney also competed in the 1,500, coming in several seconds in front of Siebert to take sixth (4:38.78).
Other highlights from the track included senior Devenn Hamilton placing second in the 400 meter dash. Her time of 55.10 was just 0.1 seconds away from the NCAA Regional qualifying mark. Several more strong finishes for the Terps included junior Teyarnte' Carter placing fifth in the 100 meter dash (12.12) and junior Toni Jefferson finishing fourth in the 200 (24.25).
Terp hurdlers taking top-10 spots were junior Diana Prestileo, senior Dionne Hamilton and freshman Amanda Radziminski. Prestileo placed sixth in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 16.71, and Hamilton and Radziminski took third and fourth, respectively, in the 400 meter hurdles.
The men's team was not without its top-10 placings. Junior sprinter Harold Manning returned from injury to place fourth in the 200 meter dash with a time of 21.81. Following suit was sophomore Rob Frelow, who ran a 47.81 in the 400 meter dash to take fourth.
The distance runners also performed well, led by sophomore Florent Groberg in the 1,500 meter run. His time of 3:57.02 gave him seventh, with junior Mike Prada coming in 10th one second behind. Sophomore Nathaniel Zola competed in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, finishing fifth with a time of 10:11.06.
Junior Beau Fay turned in another solid day throwing, as he placed second in the discus with a personal-best distance of 144-3. He also took sixth in the hammer (158-0.5) and seventh in the shot put (44-2.75).
Next on the Terps' schedule are the Towson and James Madison invitationals next weekend, where athletes will have their final chances to qualify for the May 16-28 ECAC/IC4A Championships.