Track Teams Prepare for Penn Relays

Maryland Athletics
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April 19, 1999

Penn Relays
Date: April 22-24
Site: Philadelphia, Pa.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland's track teams will travel to Philadelphia, Pa., this weekend to compete at the Penn Relays. The meet will be as large as any in which the Terps will take part this year and will feature some of the best athletes in the nation. Last year at the Penn Relays, the women's 4x100 meter relay team took first place with a time of 46.76 seconds. It was perhaps the crowning achievement of the women's season. This year, the competition is expected to be equally abundant and a repeat performance would certainly be welcome.

The Terps are in the midst of a pivotal point in their schedule. Last week the teams competed at the ACC Championships in Clemson, S.C. After this week's Penn Relays, Maryland will have two consecutive meets in Fairfax, Va., where competition once again should be plentiful.

Junior Cathy Porter (Millersville, Md.) finished first in the hammer throw to lead the women's track team to its best conference finish since 1988 as the Terps took fifth place at the ACC Championships in Clemson, S.C.

Porter's throw of 180-10 provisionally qualified her for NCAA competition. Teammates Heather Atkinson (Urbana, Ill.), who took third with a throw of 170-5, and sophomore Tene Aiken (Sewell, N.J.), who placed seventh with a throw of 150-7, combined with Porter for 18 of the Terps' 95 total team points.

In other field events, sophomore Vanessa Jones (Olney, Md.) took second in the high jump with a height of 5-8 3/4. Senior Nikki Webster took third in the triple jump with a distance of 41-3 3/4. In addition, four Maryland athletes placed in the top six as Dessalyn Jolley (Trenton, N.J.) was second with 4656 points, Amber Stanley (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) was fourth with a score of 4052, Onome Pela (Cherry Hill, N.J.) was fifth with 4026 points, and Yolanda Brown (Alexandria, Va.) was sixth with a score of 3959.

In the running events, junior Candyce DeLoatch (Pittsgrove, N.J.) finished second in the 400 with a time of 54.73. The 4x100 relay team finished third with a time of 46.52.

Clemson finished first in the women's competition with a score of 142.5. Florida State was second with 126.5 points, North Carolina was third with 114, Virginia was fourth with 111.5, and Maryland placed fifth with a score of 95.

A trio of top five finishers led the men. Senior Matt Green (Etna, N.H.) took fourth place in the 3,000 steeplechase with a time of 9:34.77; junior Jason Joubert (Rockville, Md.) was fourth in the 400 hurdles with a time of 52.32 and freshman James Gondak (Doylestown, Pa.) was fourth in the hammer with a mark of 154-9. The 4x400 relay team finished fifth.

North Carolina won the men's competition with a score of 178. Next was Clemson with 157.5, Wake Forest with 108.5, North Carolina State with 98.5, and Florida State with a score of 90.5.

The women's track team ranks 10th in the latest edition of the outdoor National Dual Meet Power Rankings, which are compiled by Idaho State University. The women are coming off last weekend's victory over five other competing schools at the Terrapin Invitational. The men, coming off a third-place finish at the Terrapin Invitational, placed 32nd in the same rankings.

The women's team has enjoyed great success over the last two weeks at the James Kehoe Track Facility in College Park. The team has won by 287 points and 90 points, respectively, at the two home meets. At the Maryland Invitational, the Terps' score of 383 was more than the other seven teams' scores combined. The team had first-place finishers in 16 of 18 events at the meet, and had 1-2-3 finishes in six of those events. Over the last two weeks, the women have had first place finishers in a 23 of 36 events overall.