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Daily Dish - 9.14.11

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3887207.jpeg- The men's golf team concluded the Gopher Invitational in third place after firing a final round 307 (+19) at Spring Hill Golf Course in Wayzata, Minn. ... individually, Max Scodro led the way for the Irish after posting a 219 (+3) score ... the Irish entered Monday's final round holding a four-shot advantage over Arkansas, but could not hold on to the lead as the Razorbacks rode a final round 299 (+11) to secure the title at 16-over par (880) for the three rounds.

- Four traditional home indoor meets highlight a 24-meet indoor and outdoor track and field schedule that head coach Joe Piane released recently ... the Meyo Track plays host to four meets during the indoor season including the Blue & Gold Invitational (Dec. 2), Notre Dame Invitational (Jan. 21), Meyo Invitational (Feb. 3-4) and Alex Wilson Invitational (March 2-3) ... the Meyo Invitational, including the famous Meyo Mile race, will be held for the 26th time ... the BIG EAST Indoor Championships are scheduled for Feb. 18-19 in New York, N.Y. ... the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships will be hosted by South Florida May 4-6 in Tampa, Fla.

- Head coach Tim Welsh recently announced the release of the men's swimming and diving 2011-12 schedule following an extremely beneficial and successful summer for the program ... the season's rather traditional schedule begins Oct. 14 with the 47th edition of the Dennis Stark Relays at the on-campus Rolfs Aquatic Center ... the first half of the schedule comes to an end when Irish student-athletes will compete at the USA Winter Nationals (Dec. 1-3), Iowa Invitational (Dec. 2-4) and Ohio State Invitational (Dec. 2-4) ... this year's BIG EAST Championships will be held at Pittsburgh's Trees Pool ... the diving portion spans from Feb. 10-12 and the swimming events take place from Feb. 15-18.

- Head softball coach Deanna Gumpf announced the upcoming fall and spring schedules for the Fighting Irish, which includes 15 home dates at Melissa Cook Stadium for the 2012 campaign ... in addition, Notre Dame will play host to the BIG EAST Conference Championship for the first time since 2007 ... Notre Dame also hosted the league championship in 1998, 2005 and 2006.

- Two members of the women's lacrosse team - Meredith Locasto and Kelly Driscoll - have been selected to the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) academic honor roll for the 2011 campaign ... the two Irish players were among a group of 187 Division I women's lacrosse juniors and seniors with 3.5 grade-point averages or better or ranked in the top 10 percent of their team to be honored by the coaches' association ... the Notre Dame team also was among 56 Division I institutions to earn Academic Squad honors ... as a team, the Notre Dame had a 3.238 grade-point average ... Locasto graduated summa cum laude with a degree in accountancy from the prestigious Mendoza College of Business following her junior year, earning the top grade-point average among all Irish women's lacrosse juniors and seniors with a 3.967 grade-point average for the 2009-10 school year ... Locasto completed her master's of science with a 3.856 GPA.

- The Notre Dame vs. Michigan State football game will feature a pre-game flyover by two USAF A-10Cs ... the national colors will be presented by Richard A. Nussbaum II, president of the Notre Dame Monogram Club, an attorney in South Bend and a member of the University's Board of Trustees ... he will be accompanied by his wife, Mary Pat ... they will be joined by three members of the women's basketball team who led the United States to the gold medal this summer in the World University Games - Devereaux Peters, Natalie Novosel and Skylar Diggins ... just before kickoff more than 80 representatives of the 1966 Notre Dame national championship football team will be introduced as they return for their 45th reunion ... at halftime the women's basketball team will be recognized for its 2011 NCAA runner-up finish, as will head coach Muffet McGraw for her 2011 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame induction.

Huddle Takes the Long View

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huddle.jpg - In winning the 5,000 meters at the U.S. Track and Field Championships in June, Molly Huddle earned her first national title on the track -- and her first world championship team berth. But since that dominant performance in late June, Huddle hasn't been training. Instead, she has been resting an injured foot, unsure how fit she'll be when she toes the line next Wednesday, the day before her 27th birthday, at the worlds in Daegu, South Korea.

Outwardly, Huddle seems unfazed, emanating a quiet confidence she's honed since she became a professional distance runner in 2007, when she graduated from the Notre Dame as a nine-time All American. A year ago, she broke the American record in the 5,000 by running 14:44.76 at a race in Belgium. The time bested Shalane Flanagan's previous record by .04 seconds -- an impressive feat, considering Flanagan is the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in the 10,000 meters. In a single season, Huddle took an astounding 32 seconds off of her best time in the event.

Upon graduation, Huddle said she was "clueless" about the steps she'd have to take to become a professional runner. Had it not been for the guidance of her college coach, she imagines she would have taken her degree in biology and headed to medical school -- she even took the MCAT. Instead, Huddle connected with Ray Treacy, director of track and cross country operations at Providence College and coach of a handful of elite women runners, including Kim Smith, New Zealand's national record-holder in the marathon and half marathon. It wasn't long after Treacy and Huddle's initial meeting that Huddle was moving to Providence, despite the fact that her husband, Canadian middle-distance runner Kurt Benninger, trains in Bloomington with Team Indiana Elite.

In June, Molly Huddle won the 5,000 at the U.S. championships by more than four seconds.

81 and Still Flying High

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25715a.jpgThe Monroe Times - For Tom Hinkes, the 80s are prime time for the sport of pole vaulting.

Hinkes first began pole vaulting back in high school. Now, just two weeks shy of his 82nd birthday, he has no plans of retiring.

And Hinkes, who lives in the town of Argyle, is among the best in his age group: He cleared 7 feet, 2 1/2 inches to win the World Masters Athletics Championships pole vault title in the 80- to 84-year-old division in Sacramento, Calif., on July 15.

He practices pole vaulting at several area high schools, including Monroe. He practices with other pole vaulters at the University of Wisconsin and when he travels to Arizona, he packs his pole and practices at a nearby junior college.

"They always ask me, 'When are you going to retire?'" he said. "I will rest for a couple of months and then come November or December, I will decide whether I should go back and try it again. I will do it as long as I'm not jeopardizing my health."

The world record for pole vaulters ages 80 to 84 is 9-0 1/4. Hinkes has cleared 8-0.

"I would like to think if I stay healthy, I could add 6 more inches to my height," he said. "That would be a big accomplishment."

He first started pole vaulting with a neighbor in high school at Milwaukee Marquette.

"I kind of backed into it," Hinkes said.

He had aspirations of running the 880 meters, but when he wasn't selected, his coach asked him to pole vault. The pole vault helped Hinkes soar to a track career at Notre Dame.

After a 25-year hiatus from pole vaulting, Hinkes started again as a member of the Masters USA track and field program. Even during his 25 years working at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, he always looked at the pole vault as a way to relax.

"It was a wonderful break from the stress and strain from working," Hinkes said.

He has seen pole vaulting undergo a metamorphosis since he started. Hinkes said the poles used to be stiff and recalls vaulting with bamboo and aluminum poles in high school and college. Today, Hinkes said, the fiberglass and carbon fiber poles have made a difference. He credits better running surfaces and bigger pits for making pole vaulting much safer.

"Today, with the way they build lighter poles and fit them for your height and weight, the speed an athlete can generate allows them to get more bend on their pole," Hinkes said.

Hinkes said he enjoys the camaraderie of pole vaulting. He also enjoys the rivalry he has established with Jerry Donnelly of Colorado Springs; Donnelly finished second at the world championships in California to Hinkes.

"Beating him in a World Games was very satisfying," Hinkes said.

Hinkes is looking forward to vaulting again even after he turns 82.

"If I wasn't in good shape I wouldn't do it," he said. "I have been fortunate. I haven't had any setbacks."

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Event Calendar

September 4
7:30 PM
vs USF
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)

September 4
4:00 PM
at Western Michigan
Kalamazoo, Mich. (WMU Soccer Complex)
September 4
4:00 PM
at Crusader Invitational
Valparaiso, Ind. (Sunset Hill Farm County Park)
September 4
7:00 PM
at Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.

Live Video
September 5
7:30 PM
vs Texas
Notre Dame, Ind.

September 5
12:00 PM
vs Temple
South Orange, N.J.
September 5
5:30 PM
vs Hofstra
South Orange, N.J.
September 6
2:00 PM
vs UAB
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)

September 6
12:00 PM
at Michigan State
East Lansing, Mich. (DeMartin Soccer Complex)

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