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ND TRACK AND FIELD: Notre Dame adds four to Regionals

Joe Meixell | Monday, April 24, 2006

Notre Dame continued its success on the track this weekend as the Irish sent the majority of their squad to the Central Collegiate Championships hosted by Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti, Mich.The highlight of the meet was sophomore Kyle Annen’s first-place finish in the hammer throw event with a total distance of 187 feet, one inch. The seventh best toss in Notre Dame’s history, Annen eclipsed distances that haven’t been touched in over a decade. The mark was also long enough to qualify the Idaho native for the NCAA Regional meet. “Kyle has done very well recently in practice, he is really starting to come into the peak of the season and competing at the top of his game,” freshman Anna Weber said.Weber, Annen’s female counterpart, was also successful as she logged a length of 147 feet, five inches. The throw was just long enough to nudge out Eastern Michigan’s Marika LeRoy for a second place finish. Weber also placed first in the shot put competition earlier in the day. The only other regional qualifier at the meet was the 4 x 100-meter women’s relay team. The crew ran to its fastest finish of the season to claim second place behind the EMU Eagles. Maryann Erigha, one of the four members of the team, also ran well in her individual 100- and 200-meter sprints earlier in the day. She placed second in both events, with times of 12.2 and 23.71, respectively. “This meet was more about getting people ready for the Big East, trying to improve our marks,” Weber said. Other notable performances for the Irish included Okechi Ogbuokiri and Kate Mattoon, who both took home first place finishes in the 400-meter race and the pole vault, respectively. Notre Dame also added to its point total in the women’s high jump as Stacey Cowan, Emily Loomis and Lauren Biscardi swept the top three spots.”We went in with a new philosophy to just win the competition, rather than go for the best mark,” Cowan said. “It helps to get your adrenaline pumping.”On the men’s side, Garet Koxlien was also a winner, dominating the competition in the discus throw with an initial mark of over 51.5 meters. Ryan Postel finished second behind Michigan’s Stann Waite in the 400-meter race. The men also sent four distance runners to Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. for the Oregon Invitational. Thomas Chamney and Kurt Benninger became the third and fourth members of the team to qualify for the NCAA Regionals, as they both ran for the first time since the beginning of the outdoor season. Chamney finished third in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:49.44. Benninger competed in the 5,000-meter race. He finished in seventh place of the “A” bracket. Freshman Patrick Smyth also ran the 5,000-meter for the Irish. His time of 14:10.05 was good enough for third place, and he was only .05 seconds away from joining both Benninger and Chamney as a qualifier for the regional meet. Next week the Irish will split up again with the top athletes going to the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. The rest of the team will compete in the Hillsdale Gina Relays in Hillsdale, Mich. The two competitions will be the last tune-ups before the Big East meet kicks off May 5.