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Track and Field: Irish get three All-American honors

Galvan, Jason | Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Notre Dame earned three All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships March 9-11 at the Randall Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark.

Senior Stephanie Madia earned her fourth All-American honor with a fourth place finish in the 5,000-meter run. The distance medley relay team of senior Ryan Postel, junior Kurt Benninger, sophomore John Cavanaugh and sophomore Adam Currie earned All-American honors with a sixth place performance. Junior Thomas Chamney earned his first All-American citation with a sixth place in the finals of the 800-meter dash.

Chamney, who earned the All-America citation with a time of 1:49.94.

“I’m very happy with Thomas Chamney’s performance,” Irish head coach Joe Piane said. “I thought he ran really well.”

Freshman Ramsey Kavan, the only freshman in the mile competition, finished No. 14.

Though Kavan did not finish among the top five in her event, she was able to walk away from the meet with experience that will prove invaluable for the future.

“She’s one of the best athletes in the country. All she needs is a little more experience to show that to everyone,” Madia said. “She did a great job getting there and has been consistent all season. Being the only freshman in the mile speaks highly of her talent.”

Madia, who a year ago competed in the indoor championships with only two days notice, was able to earn the automatic bid to the meet a week before at the Alex Wilson and take the week to focus for the event. She finished with a personal-best time of 15:59.01 in the 5,000 and a fourth place finish to earn her first indoor All-American citation.

“I’m really pleased,” assistant coach Tim Connelly said of Madia’s performance. “She went in with a really good frame of mind, really thought she could make the top five, focused on what she had to do, and executed. I’ve never seen a kid more relaxed.”

The men’s distance medley relay team saw John Cavanaugh take the place of Thomas Chamney, who competed in the 800-meter dash. The squad finished sixth in the event with a time of 9:40.61. Despite failing to meet the goal they had set for themselves, the men walked away with All-American honors for the event.

“I really feel like we needed to prepare ourselves for some of the situations that we encoutered,” Benninger said. “It was a really weird race, not at all what we were expecting, and I feel like we didn’t show how good we really are this year.”

The distance medley relay team finished in sixth place at last year’s indoor championships and each of the members was looking for a stronger performance at this year’s event. After earning the fourth fastest time in the nation at the Alex Wilson Invitational, the team entered the weekend with hopes of winning. In the end, the team was still able to earn All-America honors and gain experience for its next opportunity to compete.

All members of the relay squad will be returning for another year.

“I’m really hungry about the outdoor season and am looking forward to accomplishing the goals I set for myself,” Benninger said. “I’ll be training hard for the next few weeks to get my strength up and get myself ready to perform.

Madia said she is excited to run outdoors as spring track season begins.

“I’m real excited because I’m running faster this year than last, and I’m especially excited because last year I had trouble qualifying, and now I’m being more consistent in my races and feeling better about my performances,” she said.