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Irish earn more NCAA berths

Mike Gilloon | Monday, April 5, 2004

Despite battling less than ideal weather conditions the Irish won ten events in its Spring Opener this weekend. Selim Nurudeen led the way with the unofficial eighth fastest 110 meter hurdle time in the country this year. He clocked in at 13.92 seconds but technical difficulties will prevent all times from being made official until sometime this week. Nurudeen was pleased with his performance despite the cold, windy weather he faced.”It was hard to get warmed up in the cold weather,” Nurudeen said. “It was difficult to get as loose as you’d like and open up your stride like you want to.”Godwin Mbagwu was also a winner on the men’s side as he placed first in the triple jump.  He hopped, skipped and jumped his way to a distance of 48-9 3/4, which is only eight inches short of the qualifying mark for the NCAA Regionals held in May. The biggest standout for the women’s team was distance runner Stephanie Madia. She was a double winner by taking first in both the 1,500 and 3,000 meters. Madia took 4:40.1 to win the 1,500 meters and finished the 3,000 meters in 9:52.94.Megan Johnson competed in the steeplechase for the first time in her Irish career and came away with a victory.  Her unofficial time of 10:54.70 should qualify her for the NCAA regional. The third winner on the men’s side was Dan Driscoll as he won the 5000 meters with a time of 15:08.69.  However, Driscoll will need to lower his time to 14:50.44 to qualify for the Big East championships. The 400 meter relay team was victorious as well. They lowered their 42.59 second time from last weekend down to 41.00 seconds and easily qualified for the Big East meet. Pole vaulter Laura Huarte was the third winner for the women as she cleared a height of 11-5 3/4 Fellow field event competitor Stacy Cowan placed first in the high jump with a height of 5-6 1/4. The final winner of the women’s team was Tiffany Gunn as she ran the 400 meter hurdles in a time of 1:05.94 seconds. A handful of other Irish athletes had a successful meet as well. Ryan Postel placed third in the 200 meter dash with a time of 21.85 seconds. He had already qualified for the conference meet last weekend. Kate Duman tossed the javelin a distance of 136-1 1/4 to take second place. Katie DeRusso also placed second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a Big East qualifying time of 11:10.54. The men’s 1,500 meters was dominated by the Irish as Todd Ptacek, Todd Mobley and Thomas Chamney finished in second, third and fourth place respectively.