Oct. 31, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
The Terps are looking to continue their trend of improvement Saturday as they take on conference rivals at the 2003 ACC Championships in Winston-Salem, N.C. Both men's and women's teams notched their highest finishes in recent years at the 2002 championships, but are hoping to improve on that by capitalizing on the team's successes this season. Head Coach Trent Sanderson thinks anything is possible.
"We've been training for this all season," Sanderson said. "The teams have battled injuries and illness, but everything is starting to come together and I think we really have a shot for a big performance at ACC's."
2003 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships
The race is hosted by Wake Forest, and will be held Nov. 1 in Winston-Salem, N.C. The 8K men's race will begin at 10 a.m. with the women's 6K competition following it at 11 a.m. The races will begin and end on Water Tower Field on the Wake Forest campus.
After the competition is completed, a multitude of awards will be given out, including plaques for the winning men's and women's team and medals for the top three finishers in each race. The All-Conference team will also be named, which is made up of the top 10 finishers in each championship race. The Freshman-of-the-Year award for the top freshman finisher in each race will be awarded, along with the ACC Coach-of-the-Year.
Among the Nation's Best
Five of the ACC's nine women's teams are ranked nationally in the top 30, with three schools in the top 25. NC State leads the way at No. 3, followed by North Carolina (No. 5) and host Wake Forest (No. 13). Florida State, Duke and Virginia have all been ranked at various points throughout the season.
Regionally, the ACC is dominating the competition. In the 11-team Southeast Region, the conference holds the top five positions in women's competition.
On the men's side. NC State and Florida State have run into national spotlight, currently sitting at Nos. 17 and 23, respectively. Virginia has also had a steady presence in the top 25, coming in at No. 15 or 16, three out of the six weeks.
Purcell Back on Track
Sophomore Katie Purcell (Coraopolis, Pa.) is back in action this weekend after battling mononucleosis for the last several weeks. Purcell last competed in the Charlotte Cross Country Relays on Aug. 30. The trailblazer partnered with sophomore Cori Koch (Lutherville, Md.) to finish the relay race in eighth place.
Purcell was the Terps top finisher in the ACC Championships last year, coming in at 27th place with a time of 22:06.1.
Last Year's Conference Championships
NC State took home the men's title while Wake Forest and NC State shared the women's title in the 2002 ACC Championships in Atlanta, Ga.
The women finished in seventh place last year, marking their highest placement since 1991. Purcell paced the Terps, coming in at 27th place with a time of 22:06.1.
Maryland men finished in eighth place, breaking a four-year streak of ninth place finishes. Adam Ambrus (Shamong, N.J.) was the Terps top finisher, who took 31st place with a time of 25:47.4. Mike Prada and Florent Groberg also put in strong performances for the Terps, coming in at No. 39 and No. 45, respectively.
Results will be available following the race on www.umterps.com