Track Teams Prepare For Fourth Consecutive Meet

Jan. 24, 2000

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The University of Maryland track teams, in their most trying stretch of the season, travel to Penn State this weekend to compete in the National Open in University Park, Pa. The meet marks the fourth week in a row that the Terps have been on the road. The Terps' performances have not been affected by the traveling, the women have captured first place at two of the last three meets, and the men continue to improve. The teams will face area schools, Frostburg State, Georgetown, James Madison, Virginia, West Virginia and William & Mary, in addition to 23 other schools. The Terps will be on the road again the following week, and will have one weekend off before the ACC Championships in February. The National Open will begin Friday at 5 p.m. with field and indoor events, and will resume Saturday at noon.

After Slow Start, Terps Step Up to Challenge

The men's and women's track teams stepped up their performances on Saturday after getting off to a slow start Friday at the Pepsi Indoor Invitational in Blacksburg, Va. Senior Candyce DeLoatch's (Pittsgrove, N.J.) win in the 400 meters with a time of 55.52 seconds led the women's team. She also qualified for the ECACs. Sophomore Dontae Bugg (Newport News, Va.) led the way for the men's team with a time of 7.92 seconds and third place in the 60 meter hurdles. He was .02 seconds away from the NCAA provisional qualifying time of 7.90 seconds.

In women's action, junior Stacey Minott (Greenburg, N.Y.) took fifth in the 60 meters with a time of 7.64 seconds, and the 4x400 relay team took second with a time of 3:42.77.

Additionally, the freshman class continued to shine. Natalie Dye (Myersville, Md.) took seventh in the pole vault with a jump of 10-6. Lynn Harris (Newark, Del.) and Punnie Chittchang (Mount Airy, Md.) performed well in the long jump. Harris took fifth with a leap of 19-6 3/4, and Chittchang's jump of 18-6 earned her ninth-place.

In men's action, junior Cedrick Rogers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) took 11th in the long jump with a leap of 22-8 1/2. Sophomore James Gondak's (Doylestown, Pa.) toss of 49-11 3/4 in the weight throw earned him 12th place, and senior John Carr's (Washington, D.C.) time of 22.16 seconds in the 200 meters qualified him for the IC4As.

Women's Freshman Class Continues to Live Up to Its Expectations

The women's track team has consistently dominated its opponents this season, and part of its success can be attributed to its emerging freshman class. This year's freshman class was singled out by Track and Field News as one of the nation's 12 best, and rightfully so. The freshmen continue to blow away their competition, turning in one first-place finish after another.

The women began the season winning three events at the Bucknell Invitational in December. They continued their success at the Maryland State Meet, winning three events again. At the Delaware Invitational, the freshmen won four events, and they placed in five events at the Pepsi Indoor Invitational, which was the largest meet the freshmen have competed in this season.

Natalie Dye (Myersville, Md.) has already begun to rewrite the record books. She broke junior Jaime Dorshimer's (Slatington, Pa.) school record of 10-6 in the pole vault with a leap of 11-3 3/4 at the Delaware Invitational two weeks ago, which also marked her career best in the event. Four freshmen have qualified for the ECACs in their events. Dye has qualified for the pole vault, Punnie Chittchang (Mount Airy, Md.) and Lynn Harris (Newark, Del.) have qualified in the long jump and Tia Burley (Baltimore, Md.) has qualified for the 500 meters.