Feb. 21, 2003
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Georgia Tech women’s track and field team opened defense of its conference indoor title in fine fashion, as the Jackets lead the 2003 Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Championships after Friday’s competition at North Carolina’s Eddie Smith Field House. Tech’s men also enjoyed a strong day and stand in third place.
The Yellow Jacket women lead with 39.5 points, followed by Virginia with 37.5 points. Florida State (36) ranks third, followed by North Carolina (35.5), Wake Forest (23), NC State (19), Maryland, (19), Duke (15.5) and Clemson (9).
On the men’s side, Florida State leads with 45 points, followed by North Carolina with 29 points and the Jackets with 23. NC State is fourth (21 points), followed by Clemson (12), Duke (8), Wake Forest (8), Virginia (7) and Maryland (3).
Tech’s women’s team was led by freshman Chaunte Howard, who cleared 6’0.00″ to win the high jump and claim her first ACC title. Her mark was a season-best and improved her NCAA provisional mark. Junior Kyle Rabbitt, who placed second in the 5000 meters, led the men’s team. He earned All-ACC accolades with a time of 14:20.56.
All-conference honors also went to senior Jamie Ostrov, who took second in the high jump with a mark of 5’7.75″, and senior Jessica DeFreitas, who placed second in the long jump with a season-best leap of 19’11.50″.
The Jackets’ women showed great depth in the jumps, with freshman Brandy Depland taking fifth in the long jump (19’8.25″) and Howard placing sixth (19’4.00″). In addition to Howard and Ostrov’s strong finishes in the high jump, sophomore Megan Byrd took eighth (5’3.75″). Additionally, freshman Jessica Graff cleared 12’5.50″ to place fifth in the pole vault, and the distance medley relay team finished seventh (12:24.92).
The Tech men got a solid showing in the shot put from sophomores Zeb Sion (55’11.25″) and Jonathan Spillman (54’2.75″), who placed fourth and fifth, respectively. Also scoring for the Jackets’ men were freshman I-Perfection Harris, who took fifth in the long jump with a mark of 23’6.75″, and senior Chris Crawley, who was eighth in the same event (23’0.75″). Tech’s men also placed eighth in the distance medley relay (10:19.32).
A number of Jackets also advanced from Friday’s preliminary rounds into Saturday’s finals. Heading this list for the women was sophomore Dana Rogers, who met the NCAA provisional qualifying standard and qualified second in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.43. Junior Melanie Waits also reached the final by placing sixth in the event. Also advancing for the women were sophomore Shanta Smith, who qualified second in the 400 meters in a season-best 55.44, DeFreitas, who was second in the 60-meter dash (7.49), and junior Amandi Rhett, who qualified third in the 60 (7.56) and eighth in the 200 (24.89).
Tech’s men also excelled in the prelims, highlighted by three qualifiers in the 800 meters. Junior Brendon Mahoney won his heat and was third (1:53.82), while senior Bryan Swarn was fourth (1:53.19) and junior David Schmidt was eighth (1:53.93).
Additional men’s qualifiers include Mahoney, who was third in the mile (4:12.69), sophomore Dennis Davis, who was fifth in the 60-meter dash (6.80) and third in the 200 (21.88), and senior Sharif Azim, who qualified seventh in the 200 (22.11) and eighth in the 400 meters (49.46).
The meet resumes Saturday with field events opening at 10 a.m. Competition concludes with the women’s 4×400-meter relay at 4:30 p.m.