Feb. 16, 2005
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Three women who have already qualified for the NCAA Indoor Nationals and a number of men seeking qualifying marks to also get there will lead the University of Maryland track and field teams at this weekend's ACC Indoor Championships being hosted by North Carolina.
The ACC Championships begin on Thursday, Feb. 17, with combined events and weight throws. The events continue through Friday, with the meet ending in the late afternoon on Saturday.
Maryland is hoping to improve on its finishes of sixth (women's) and eighth (men's) from last year's conference indoor meet. For that to happen, the Terps will be counting on a number of student-athletes who have already made a mark on their competition this winter.
Leading that list is junior Kierra Foster, who is the Terps' lone automatic-qualifier for the NCAA Indoor Nationals, to be held March 11-12 at the University of Arkansas. Foster has posted a mark of 21 feet, 2.50 inches in the women's long jump, the best mark in the ACC thus far this season and third nationally. She is also scheduled to compete in the 60-meter hurdles.
Junior Lynn Hernandez has hit a NCAA provisional-qualifying mark in the women's long jump at 20-3, and will be seeded fourth in the ACC this weekend. Hernandez is currently tied for 11th in the nation in the long jump and will double up for the Terrapins in the women's 200.
Toni Aluko, a freshman, has cleared 5-10 in the women's high jump this year and is the Terps' third woman to have hit a NCAA provisional mark. Aluko comes into the ACC meet ranked fourth in that event and is 19th nationally.
Other Maryland women to watch this weekend are sophomore pole vaulter Zhanna Barer (T2nd at 12-5.50), junior shot putter Bria Johnson (5th at 45-10.75) and middle-distance runner Danielle Siebert (9th in the mile at 4:51.43).
On the men's side, the Terrapins have a strong chance to score in a variety of events.
Gerrick McPhearson, a junior who is also a starting cornerback on the Maryland football team, is seeded fourth in the 60-meter dash. McPhearson and freshman hurdler Dominic Berger represented the Terrapins on one of track's most famous indoor stages recently when they ran finals of their events at the Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden. Berger is seeded sixth in the ACC coming into the meet in the 60-meter hurdles, while sophomore Adam Durham is eighth.
Senior Rob Frelow will be seeded third in the 400-meter dash with his 47.61 mark and is expected to help Maryland in both the 4x400 and distance-medley relays. Freshman Sean Lowe, the track and field squad's LeFrak Scholar, is ranked seventh in the 400 (48.59).
Sophomore middle-distance man Peter Hess is entered in the mile, where he is ranked eighth in the league (4:12.18), and in the 3,000. Senior Adam Ambrus will lead the Terps' distance runners, and hopes to improve on his ninth-place ranking at 5,000 meters.
Anchoring the field events for the Maryland men will be senior Beau Fay, who is seeded fourth in the league in the 35-pound weight throw at 57-9.50.
A full schedule of events and information about the ACC Indoor Championships are available at www.theacc.com.