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WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD: Irish finish fourth of six teams at Windsor

Ryan Kiefer | Monday, February 14, 2005

Mission accomplished.Two simple words that describe the results for the Notre Dame women’s track team at this weekend’s Windsor Team Challenge in Windsor, Ontario. A partial squad of Irish runners finished fourth out of six teams, but achieved its meet goal by qualifying two runners for next weekend’s Big East Championships. Freshmen Becky Antas and Rachel Heneghan both qualified for by running sub 3-minute times in the 1,000 meters. In addition to qualifying runners for the Big East meet, the Irish also focused on getting their sprinters experience on the short, 200-meter track. The athletes responded with several standout performances. Maryann Erigha won the 60-meter dash in 7.53 seconds, and teammates Brienne Davis and Dominique Manning were close behind in second and fourth respectively. Erigha also won the 300, while Okechi Ogbuokiri finished second. Tiffany Gunn notched another victory for the Irish in the 600 meters, with freshman Crysta Swayzer finishing third. Notre Dame did not send any distance runners who had previously notched Big East qualifying times, nor did they send any relay teams or field athletes to the meet. The coaching staff chose to leave these athletes behind to allow them to rest for next weekend. In a field that featured four Canadian schools, and the University of Detroit Mercy, the level of competition was much less than the Irish expect at the Big East meet. Coach Tim Connelly did not seem concerned. “It was a very low-key environment, a very relaxed atmosphere,” Connelly said. “Sometimes that is good to have before entering meets where the competition is going to be heated and everyone is tense.” Competition is expected to be fierce Friday and Saturday in Syracuse, N.Y. for the conference meet. The Irish are confident going into the Big East finals, despite the fact that they have not won the championship since 2002. Connelly was pleased with his team’s final tune up this weekend and can now turn his attention to the Big East.”We got done what we set out to do,” Connelly said. “Now it’s on to the conference meet.”