Track Teams Have Week off to Get Ready for ACC Meet

Maryland Athletics
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February 9, 1999

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The mens and womens indoor track teams will have two weeks to prepare for the ACC Indoor Championships in Blacksburg, Va. The teams will look to use the success theyve had over the last month to catapult them into contention at the championships. The womens team has used its success to place in the top 10 of the national dual meet power rankings which are compiled by Idaho State University. They have been led by junior sprinter Candyce DeLoatch (Pittsgrove, N.J.). DeLoatch has dominated the competition in the 400 meters of late. Over the last three weeks, she has twice broken the Maryland record in the 400 and twice qualified provisionally for NCAA competition. DeLoatch will look to lead the women into the upper echelon of the ACC.

Although it has been hectic, the last month has seen the track teams accomplish a great deal. The womens team, in particular, has enjoyed much success. They have used impressive showings in each of the last four meets to vault themselves into the top 10 of the national dual meet power rankings. They entered last weekends meet in the fifth spot, trailing only Kansas State University, the University of South Carolina, the University of North Carolina, and Purdue University. The mens team is 29th nationally in the rankings which are compiled by Idaho State University.

The women opened the Husker Invitational with strong individual performances last Friday. Candyce DeLoatch had the top time of 55.40 in the preliminary heats of the womens 400. DeLoatchs performance highlighted the womens competition for Maryland. She has dominated the event in her last three meets, twice setting school records and twice achieving times worthy of NCAA consideration. The time qualified her for the finals that were held on Saturday.

Also faring well for the women were junior Stacey Minott (Greensburg, N.Y.) who had the fourth best time of 7.49 in the 60; senior Melody Vaughn (Houston, Texas), who placed sixth in the finals of the long jump with a distance of 19-0 1/2, and senior Tesheya Hoist (Rocky Mount , N.C.), who had the sixth best time of 25.07 in the 200. Hoists time also marked a season best for the Maryland women.

Day two of the Husker Invitational saw DeLoatch follow up on Fridays impressive showing with another one as she took first place in the 400 with a time of 54.81. The other Maryland athlete who qualified for the finals of Saturdays competition was Minott, who qualified in the 60. Her time of 7.67 was good for eighth place and also tied the teams season best time. The Terps were one of 45 competing teams.

The mens competition was highlighted by the performance of Dontae Bugg (Newport News, Va.) who had the 10th best time of 8.14 in the preliminary heats of the mens 60 hurdles. The time broke Buggs own mens season best by .01 seconds.

The Maryland track teams opened the 1998-99 campaign with high expectations. To this point in the season, they have achieved plenty of success. There have been plenty of ECAC and IC4A qualifying times and impressive enough dual meet victories to vault both the men and women into the top 30 of the power rankings. Now the teams must prepare for the second part of the season, the championship meets.

A total of 11 women and three men have qualified for the ECAC and IC4A Championships, respectively. Nikki Webster has qualified in both the long jump and triple jump. Both the womens distance medley and 4x400 relay teams have qualified. On the mens side, Asa Heath and Dontae Bugg have qualified in the 55 hurdles and Jason Joubert in the 500 meters. The mens 4x400 relay team also has qualified.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Following a five-week break from competition, the University of Maryland mens and womens indoor track and field teams return to action this Saturday when they participate in the Father Diamond Memorial Invitational at George Mason University. Twelfth-year head coach Bill Goodman anticipates taking a contingent of 25-30 women and approximately 20-25 men to this weekends invitational at Fairfax, Va. The meet is scheduled to begin at noon at the Recreation Sports Complex on the campus of George Mason University. The Terps opened their season the weekend of Dec. 4-5 when they participated in the Navy and Bucknell invitationals, but have not competed since because of final exams and the holiday break.

As of Jan. 4, University of Maryland is one of 17 teams scheduled to participate in Saturdays Father Diamond Memorial Invitational. The Terps will be joined by a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference teams - Virginia and Duke - as well as host George Mason, Penn State, Syracuse, Georgetown, Villanova, William & Mary, Virginia Commonwealth, Florida International, North Carolina A&T, Norfolk State, Coppin State and LaSalle.

Maryland had five women and two men achieve individual-event ECAC and IC4A qualifying marks, respectively, on the opening weekend of the indoor track season last month. For the women, those reaching ECAC qualifying standards included long jumper Melody Vaughn (19-3 1/4), triple jumper Nikki Webster (39-7), pole vaulter Jaime Dorshimer (10-0), 55-meter hurdler Thema Napier (8.00) and 55-meter sprinter Stacy Minott (6.9). In addition, the Terps 4x400 meter relay team of Thema Napier, Melody Vaughn, Nikki Webster and Candyce DeLoatch qualified for the ECACs with a time of 3:53.00. Individual mens IC4A qualifiers included high hurdlers Dontae Bugg (7.3) and Asa Heath (7.4). The mens 4x400 meter relay team of Trevor Graves, Justin James, Richard Mahy and Jason Joubert also qualified, posting a time of 3:21.4. The ECAC Championships are slated for Feb. 27-28 in Boston. The IC4A Championships, also to be held in Boston, will take place March 6-7. The NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships are slated for March 5-6 in Indianapolis.

"We got off to a good start with our performance in early December, but my concern now is how we respond coming off the Christmas holiday break. Well be working very hard these first few weeks in January to get everyone in proper shape as we look ahead to the ACC meet. The Father Diamond Invitational provides us an opportunity to participate in a quality meet in our effort to get back in proper shape. If the athletes were able to maintain their fitness levels, its certainly possible someone could hit an ECAC or IC4A qualifying mark. We used our first two meets back in December to see if we were on target or ahead of last years pace, and one the womens side I feel that we have the potential to be in the top three [of the ACC]. The concern, though, is how we come off the Christmas break. On the mens side, I felt we had a decent start in the 4x400 relay and in the hurdles with freshman Dontae Bugg and senior Asa Heath. We still need to work on some other areas. Bugg, who is a freshman, has the potential to be a very fine hurdler, one of the best weve had in some time. Heath qualified for the IC4A meet with his performance at the Navy Invitational, but he has been experiencing inflammation in the tendons in his foot and we will have to evaluate him this week to see if he competes at the Father Diamond Invitational. We need to rest him and get him ready for the conference meet. Our mile relay team, which is made up of walk-ons, has been working extremely hard and has the potential to be the best relay team weve had in the last 5-6 years. That group is comprised of Trevor Graves, Justin James, Richard Mahy and Jason Joubert, with John Carr always fighting for a spot. On the womens side, Im excited about our throwers. I feel they will be the key to our season. Another key will be keeping people healthy. Last year at the ACC womens meet, only 14 points separated the third place team from the sixth place team. If you lose someone, you could easily get knocked down a peg or two."

The meets were very successful overall for the Terps as an inordinate number of athletes qualified for the ECACs and IC4As. The upperclassmen played a pivotal role in the teams success, yet freshmen such as Dontae Bugg stepped up and showed why the Terps are poised to improve upon last years ACC finish.

NCAA Qualifiers
Name              (event)
Candyce DeLoatch  (400m, prov.)

ECAC Qualifiers Cathy Porter (20-lb. weight) Heather Atkinson (20.-lb. weight) Melody Vaughn (long jump) Nikki Webster (triple jump/long jump) Jaime Dorshimer (pole vault) Thema Napier (55 hurdles) Stacey Minott (60 meters/50 meters) Tiffany Hester (55 hurdles) Vanessa Jones (high jump) Candyce DeLoatch (400 meters) Tesheya Hoist (200 meters) Distance Medley Relay Womens 4x400 relay

IC4A Qualifiers Asa Heath (55 hurdles) Dontae Bugg (55 hurdles) Jason Joubert (500 meters) Mens 4x400 relay