Dr.J. on Running


BIG EAST Results

Huskies and Fighting Isirh Win

Published February 18, 2002 in The Syracuse Post-Standard.

By Dr Kamal Jabbour, Contributing Writer

The Georgetown Hoyas came to Syracuse to defend their mens and womens Big East conference titles this weekend, with the Pirates of Seton Hall and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame expected to give chase.

In the mens competition, the Huskies of the University of Connecticut stole the show with the top three finishers in the pentathlon (Will Thomas, Mark Jellison, and Mike Boney), a second place from Joe Mendel the 400 meters (47.87), a strong showing in the long jump (Ronald Cook, Brian Egy, and Mark Jellison), and award-winning performances by the 2002 Big East Indoor Championship Outstanding Male Athlete Elliott Blount in the 500 meter, 800 meter, and 4x200 relay to win the meet in 136.5 points.

With a slow and steady collection of points, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame won the womens team championship, scoring 112 points over the second place Georgetown. The slew of performances that drove the win included Ayesha Boyds third place in the 60 meter dash (7.44) and second place in the 200 meter dash (24.00), Kymia Loves second place in the 400 meter dash (55:58), Liz Grows second place in the 500 meter dash ( 1:11.65), a third place finish in the 4x400 relay (Love, Dodd, Boyd, and Grow), and strong showing in the high jump, pole vault and indoor pentathlon. Lauryn Williams of Miami was named Big East Indoor Championship Outstanding Female Athlete for her first place finishes in the 60 meter dash (7.38) and 200 meter dash (23.91).

Fans of distance running were treated to back to back wins in the mens 3,000 and 5,000 meters by favorite Ryan Shay of Notre Dame. Shay held back for the first half of the 5,000, following teammate Todd Mobley for the first 2K before breaking ahead of the pack and cruising through the finish with an IC4A qualifying time of 14:15.57. In the 3,000 meters, Shay took an early lead and broke the competition with periodic flashes of speed. Shay finished in 8:09.42, just ahead of teammate Luke Watson who came in second with a repsectable 8:12.44.

On the womens side, West Virginias Rebacca Stallwood powered to a first place finish in the 5,000-meter Saturday, leaving the rest of the field far behind with a 16:38.3 finish. On Sunday, Megan Metcalfe of West Virginia won the 3,000 meters in a time of 9:20.87 with the second place finish of 9:34.19 by Maria Cicero of Boston College.

The elusive sub-four-minute mile did not come to fruition. Although Junior Adrian Blincoe and Sophomore Ryan Hayden of Villanova pushed for negative splits in the second half, they waited too long, and finished in 4:06 and 4:07, respectively.

With the proliferation of collegiate track meets, such as the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships, New York Armory Invitational, New England Championships, Millrose Games, Terrier Classic and numerous individual and regional competitions, one cannot help but wonder if -- in the track and field world -- the Big East Championships have become a training benchmark, rather than the event for which athletes train to peak performance. With every athletes ultimate goal to win as many points as possible for the team, personal bests sometimes take a back seat to sustained performance.

While the empty seats of the Carrier Dome gave proof to the lukewarm interest of the local track and field community in high-caliver competition, the Internet permitted an international audience to watch the meet live. For the fifth year, Syracuse-based TrackMeets.com webcast the entire meet live, showing every lap of every race in the track competition, and over fourteen hours of field competition.

© 2002 The Post-Standard.

Kamal Jabbour runs and writes on the hills of Pompey, New York. His RUNNING Column appears in The Syracuse Post-Standard on Mondays. Dr.J. created TrackMeets.com, webcasting live Every Lap of Every Race. He receives email at jabbour@i2sports.com.