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ND WOMEN’S TRACK: Team rests, but athletes place high

Ryan Kiefer | Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Irish athletes captured three first-place finishes at the season opening Central Michigan indoor open this weekend, despite withholding some of their star athletes from the meet.Sophomore Maryann Erigha won the 60-meter dash with a personal best time of 7.51. Sophomore Okechi Ogbuokiri took the 400-meter crown in 56.87, and Stacey Cowan won the high jump, clearing 5-6 (five feet, six inches) in the finals. The focus for this meet was on Notre Dame’s sprinters, jumpers and throwers. When asked if expectations were met in these areas this weekend, jumps/throws coach Scott Winsor’s response was simple.”No,” he said. “But that is partly due to the fact that we trained through this meet. I knew our athletes would not be able to perform at the level they are capable of. I told them just to go out and give whatever they had.” Other highlights from the meet included a career-best weight throw by Meghan Horn of 49-11 3/4, earning her fourth place to go along with her second place performance in shot put.Tiffany Gunn also had a solid meet, finishing fourth in the 400-meter run and second in the 60-meter hurdles competition.Freshman Crysta Swayzer finished fifth in the 400, while her classmate Domenique Manning finished fourth in the 60-meter hurdles. Sophomore Cassie Gullickson tied for third in the high jump, clearing 5-2 1/4.The Irish will now shift their focus to next weekend’s Notre Dame Indoor Opener, the first of three consecutive home meets. Notre Dame plans on training through the first of these home meets, as they continue to build toward the end of the season. Despite the mediocre weekend performance, Winsor was optimistic.”The competitiveness was there on Saturday,” he said. “But the physical performance was not. As long as we continue with our training, the performance will follow.”