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ND WOMEN’S TRACK: Team performs well in first home competition

Ryan Kiefer | Monday, January 24, 2005

By winning 10 of 15 events and achieving several personal bests, the Notre Dame women’s track team dominated the competition in their initial home meet Friday night at Loftus Center. Though Friday’s competition was a non-scoring meet, the Irish turned in several standout individual performances. Stars of the meet for the Irish included two time winners Maryann Erigha in the 60-meter and 200-meter runs, and Tiffany Gunn in the 400 and 500-meter runs. The distance runners were also impressive Friday, notching victories in the mile and 3,000-meter run. Stephanie Madia’s mile victory came in personal best time of 4 minutes, 54.35 seconds, while Amy Kohlmeier won the 3000 meters by almost five seconds in her first race since suffering a broken leg in December of 2003.”Last Christmas we didn’t know if she would ever be able to run again. For her to come and win her first race back was quite an accomplishment,” said Irish coach Tim Connelly. Two Irish freshmen performed well in their first home meet. Dominique Manning won the 60 meter hurdles and Brienne Davis turned in two second place finishes in the 60 and the 200. Coach Connelly stressed the importance of building the confidence of some of his younger runners. “A lot of our runners were running their first meets, or running their first meet in a certain event. These meets are important for them because the level of competition gives them an opportunity to succeed. We want to start with success rather than having them try and chase people down from behind,” he said. Stacey Cowan stole the spotlight in the field events by dominating the high jump competition. She cleared a height of 1.78 meters (5 feet, 10 inches), an NCAA provisional height, and just an inch and a half shy of her personal best. Cowan won the competition by five inches. Other winners for the Irish included Brianne Schmidt in the 800-meter and Meghan Horn in the shot put. Overall, Connelly was pleased with his team’s performance. “We were extremely successful on Friday. Part of that was due to the level of competition, but that is to be expected in these early meets. We want to increase competition slowly as the season progresses,” Connelly said. The Irish will remain at home this week as they prepare for next Saturday’s Notre Dame Invitational at Loftus Center.