March 10, 2007
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - For the third time in his illustrious career, Notre Dame senior Thomas Chamney (Tipperary, Ireland/St. Columba's) has been designated an All-American, picking up his latest citation on Saturday night with an eighth-place finish in the 800-meter finals of the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. Chamney's finish also gave Notre Dame its lone team point of the meet, marking the third consecutive year and fifth time in six seasons that the Irish have scored at the NCAA indoor meet.
Chamney, who was a double All-American last year after placing sixth in the NCAA indoor and outdoor 800 meters, competed at less than 100 percent this weekend, fighting off the effects of both an illness and fatigue after a pair of trans-Atlantic flights last week for the European Indoor Championships (where he reached the semifinals). He managed to battle through those roadblocks and completed the final in 1:50.74, becoming the first Notre Dame individual to garner All-America honors in the same indoor event in consecutive years since Luke Watson pulled off that feat in the 3,000 meters in 2002 and 2003.
Meanwhile, junior Jake Watson (Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater Area) wrapped up his first appearance at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a 10th-place finish in the finals of the mile run, covering the circuit in 4:03.97. Watson ended up 84-hundredths of a second (0.84) behind Princeton's David Nightingale for eighth place, which would have yielded the Notre Dame runner All-America honors. Ironically, Nightingale didn't initially qualify for the final after falling in his preliminary heat, but the NCAA jury upheld his protest of interference and allowed him into the final.
Notre Dame will begin the outdoor portion of its 2007 schedule March 16-17 when it sends a handful of athletes to Conway, S.C., for the Coastal Carolina Shamrock Invitational.