May 29, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -
Complete Maryland Release in PDF Format
2008 NCAA East Regionals Website
The University of Maryland sends one of its strongest contingents in recent memory to the 2008 NCAA East Regionals. Nine men and seven women will be making the trip south, while an eighth woman - senior Christina Smith - has hit a provisional-qualifying mark in the heptathlon. On the line this weekend are berths to the NCAA National Championships, to be held June 11-14 at Des Moines, Iowa. The top five individuals and top three relay teams earn automatic bids to Nationals.
Maryland head coach and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Andrew Valmon brings the most student-athletes to the East Regional in his five seasons. The 17 Terrapins who have hit an NCAA mark are the most since a dozen attended the 2005 East Regional. They have qualified in 18 events, including relays.
In an Olympic year, Valmon has gotten attention for the Maryland track and field program by virtue of both the progress being made in the program as well as his personal experience. A sprinter from Seton Hall University, Valmon was part of gold-medal relay teams in 1988 and 1992. He was part of a world-record 4x400 relay in 1993, teaming with Butch Reynolds, Quincy Watts and Michael Johnson to go 2:54.29 in Germany. His personal best of 44.28 had him ranked as high as fourth in the nation and seventh in the world at various times in his career.
Two weeks ago, the Maryland women had a standout team performance at the 2008 ECAC Outdoor Championships at Princeton. The Terrapins finished sixth at ECACs, earning 39 points and finishing just four points out of third place. The sixth-place finish matched their best since 2000. The Maryland men tied for 18th at the 132nd IC4A Outdoor Championship, their second-best finish at the eastern meet in 10 years.
Maryland's men scored 12 points at last year's NCAA East Regional, as Dominic Berger and Adam Durham placed 2nd and 5th, respectively, in the 110-meter hurdles. Those two return for the 2008 hurdles event.
Maryland's most recent scoring in a women's regional came in 2006, when the Terps had 14 points. Kierra Foster won the women's long jump at 21-8.25, a mark that stands as the current East Regional meet record.
Lynn Hernandez finished 5th in that event. Maryland's men tied for 26th at the 2006 regional with eight points.
The ACC has had a strong outdoor season. The Florida State men (4th) join three women's teams (Virginia Tech 5th, Miami 23rd, Florida State 25th) in the most recent USTFCCCA outdoor rankings.