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Irish runners perform well in Windsor Challenge

Mike Gilloon | Monday, February 16, 2004

Both the Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams finished third Saturday at the Windsor Team Challenge, even though many members of the teams stayed home this weekend to rest up for the Big East Championships.

Mostly sprinters made the trip north to take advantage of the short, fast track at the University of Windsor.

The Irish women sprinters dominated their events as they claimed the top five spots in both the 60-meter and the 300-meter dashes. Senior Kristen Dodd emerged victorious in the 300 meters with a time of 39.13 seconds.

Junior Tiffany Gunn finished just behind Dodd in second place in 39.48, while senior Ayesha Boyd, junior Tricia Floyd and freshman Okechi Ogboukiri rounded out the top five with times of 39.69, 40.80 and 40.98, respectively. The next closest competitor was a whole second behind Ogboukiri.

The 60 meters was the same story with a few different names, as Boyd was the winner in 7.69. Floyd just barely missed the conference qualifying mark of 7.78 by finishing second in a time of 7.79. Junior Tanya Cheatham, Dodd and junior Latasha Steele completed the group with times of 7.81, 7.85 and 7.92, respectively.

On the men’s side, Ryan Postel torched the competition in the 300-meter sprint. The sophomore from Lexington, Ky., won in a time of 34.54 and barely missed breaking the meet record of 34.37 seconds. Junior Trevor McClain-Duer took third place in 35.07 as freshman Jordan Powell finished in a time of 35.63 to place fifth.

Three Irish runners finished in the top spots in the 1000-meter run. Sophomore Vincent Ambrico won in a time of 2 minutes, 29.99 seconds, which qualifies him for the Big East Champion-ships next week in Syracuse, N.Y. Junior Terry Lennon finished second, with a time of 2:30.61, and Tom Weiler finished third in 2:32.03.

In the 3,000-meter race, junior Ryan Johnson was the victor with a time of 8:42.01.

The younger members of the Irish teams also performed well, as several Irish freshman and sophomores recorded their fastest times of the indoor season. Ambrose Wooden, who plays football in the fall, qualified for the Big East Championships with a time of 7.02 in the 60-meter dash.

Freshmen Katie DeRusso and Brianne Schmidt both placed second in their events. DeRusso finished with a season-best time of 3:00.52 in the 1,000 meters while Schmidt ran the 600 meters in 1:37.46. Sophomore Elizabeth Webster was third in the 1,000 meters in a time of 3:01.48.

The University of Windsor men and women both placed first in the meet. The University of Western Ontario and Notre Dame placed second and third, respectively, for both men and women, as the Irish did not field a complete squad.