April 27, 2003
PHILADELPHIA - Reaching a new program record height in the pole vault for the third time this season and for the second meet in a row, senior Natalie Dye took the spotlight in Philadelphia at the Penn Relays. The meet, held Thursday through Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field, offered Terp athletes a chance to qualify for NCAA Regionals and the IC4A/ECAC Championships.
Dye, who has already qualified for both events, was fresh off a record-setting 12-8 performance at the ACC Championships in Raleigh, N.C., last weekend. She went on to shatter that mark Thursday at the Penn Relays, jumping a height of 12-9.5 and taking third place out of 23 athletes. This mark sets a new outdoor record and ties her indoor season record, set at the ECAC Indoor Championships on March 9. It is also the fifth time Dye has reset the pole vaulting record this year, combining the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Also setting personal bests at the Penn Relays were throwers Bria Johnson and Aranda Brown. Johnson, a freshman, threw a personal best of 41-2.5 in the Eastern division of the shot put competition to finish 17th. She also competed in the discus, throwing a distance of 123-3. Brown, the team's sole senior thrower, tossed a personal-best distance of 164-1 in the hammer throw to place 16th. Junior Labelle Hillgrove joined Johnson in both the discus and shot put, throwing a 137-2 and 39-8.75 in those events, respectively.
Other individual competitors for the Terps were seniors Dionne Hamilton and Adrian Nelson. Nelson, the men's team's only jumper, reached a height of 6-5, finishing 12th in the Eastern high jump competition. Hamilton competed in the 400 meter hurdles competition, running a 1:05.52.
Several Terp relay squads took to the starting lines, as the women's team competed in the distance and 4x400 meter relays. The distance squad finished 12th with a time of 12:11.59. The 4x400 meter relay team finished strong in its heat with a time of 3:44.40, an NCAA Regional qualifying time. The squad then lowered that time in the finals, placing fourth in the ECAC division with a time of 3:41.92.
Next up for the Terps is the George Mason Invitational, held in Fairfax, Va., on May 3. The team hopes to qualify more individuals for the fast-approaching NCAA Regional competition at the end of May.