April 15, 2002
ACC Outdoor Championships
April 19 and 20, 2002
Eyes on the Prize
* A week after competing against the best teams in the country at the Sea Ray Invitational, the Maryland track and field team will battle against the best in the ACC at this weekend's ACC Championships from Charlottesville, Va.
Terps at Last Year's Championships
* The women's team will look to improve on last year's sixth place finish at the championships. The women return two members of last year's All-Conference team. Senior Tracy Ojeniyi (Sewell, N.J.) is the defending ACC Champion in the heptathlon (4,723 pts.) and also finished second in the shot put posting a then career best mark (47-5.25). Senior Thema Napier (Columbia, Md.) joined Ojeniyi with honors coming in third in the 400-meter hurdles (59.15).
* The men will look to break through and escape a sixth consecutive last-place finish. The last time the team did not come in last was 1996, when the team placed seventh. The team has also not had an All-Conference performer since Brain Montgomery in 1996.
Who to watch out for: Men
* Freshman Rob Frelow (White Plains, N.Y.) came into the season with high expectations and has lived up to his billing thus far during the outdoor campaign. He started the season strong with a fifth place finish at the Alabama Relays in the 400 meters. After a first-place finish at the Maryland Invitational, Frelow lowered his time to a team-leading mark of 47.55 at this past weekend's Sea Ray Invitational. He is currently in the top ten in the ACC in the 400 and has also run the team's second best time in the 200 meters (22.49).
* Senior Phillip Barrett (Upper Marlboro, Md.) is looking to place well in his final trip to the ACC Championships. The hurdler raced to a new career best time in the 110-meter hurdles at the Maryland Invitational (14.36) to take second place. His time puts him in third place in the conference as of April 9.
* Barrett's closest rival on the team, senior Dontae Bugg (Newport News, Va.), has also posted solid times in the hurdles this season. Bugg raced to a season best time this past weekend at the Sea Ray Invitational (14.44) earning the team's best individual finish in 17th place. He is looking to improve on last year's sixth place finish in 110-meter hurdles where he posted his career best time (14.42).
* Sophomore sprinter Harold Manning (Glen Burnie, Md.) has been the top Terp in the short distance events this spring. His team best time in the 200 meters (21.65) came during a 12th place finish at the Alabama Relays. He claimed two first-place victories at the Maryland Invitational in the 100 and 200, including the team's top time in the 100 (10.88).
* The other member of the touted Maryland freshman class, Ian Moore (Mt. Laurel, N.J.), has steadily lowered his time in the 400-meter hurdles throughout the season. His season best time (54.03) came this past weekend at the Sea Ray Invitational, where he shaved over two seconds off his prior week's time.
* In the throwing events, senior James Gondak (Doylestown, Pa.) and junior John Collins (Clarksburg, Md.) will lead the Terps. Collins leads the team in the hammer (167-3), while Gondak sits closely behind (164-7). Gondak set a career high in the javelin (149-2.25) at the Maryland Invitational to take the team's top spot in the event.
* Senior team captain Dave Benaderet (Baltimore, Md.) has been a steady performer in the 200 and 400 meters. He holds the team's second best time in the 400 (49.79) and thrid best in the 200 (22.57) which he earned placing fourth in both events at the Maryland Invitational.
* Junior transfer Adrian Nelson (Washington, D.C.) has been the team's strongest competitior in the jumping events. He currently holds the team's top marks in the high jump (6-4) and the long jump (21-8.25).
Track Contact: Chris Stuchko