Feb. 8, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. --- The 1,590 people that were packed into the Loftus Sports Center today were not disappointed by the excitement of the second day of the Meyo Invitational. The University of Notre Dame men's and women's track and field teams earned 11 top-five finishes and three event victories.
"It was a great meet," says head coach Joe Piane. "In every event there was someone who was really very competitive nationally. Not just Notre Dame, but speaking as a meet director, if you look at the vaults, the high jumps, the long jumps, there were people there that were national class in every event. And that's what we want."
Fifth-year student Jeremy Rae won the Meyo Mile event for the Irish, running a sub four-minute mile for the third consecutive year. His time of 3:57.25 topped his two previous performances and set a new Notre Dame school record. Graduate student Nick Happe came in third in the race with a time of 3:59.58, just making it under that four-minute mark. Rae and Happe were joined by Sam Penzenstadler of Loyola who also made it in under four.
"It was a big goal of mine to win this meet because it is at home and against teammates," explains Rae. "My family came and watched, they drove eight hours to watch this, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to win. It is one of the last times that I am going to race for Notre Dame, so I wanted to make it a good one. "
Senior Kelly Curran finished the mile in 4:37.10, giving her the fifth fastest mile time in the NCAA so far this season. Her time was also one of four that broke the meet record previously set by Lindsey Gallo of Michigan in 2005 (4:37.97). The new meet record belongs to the unattached All-American Amanda Eccleston (4:33.24).
"It is incredible," Curran says of the crowd's cheering during the final stretch of the race. "You can barely hear yourself think. You just kind of go as fast as possible and know that everyone standing there is cheering for you their hardest. It is a different feeling that you cannot really get anywhere else."
Junior Chris Giesting won the 400m dash for the men with a time of 46.38. Shortly after, senior Michelle Brown won the 400m for the women. Her time of 53.15 set a new meet record in the event. The record was previously held by Foy Williams of Etobicoke, who set it in 2000 with a time of 53.22.
The Irish will travel to Geneva, Ohio for the SPIRE Invitational next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14 and 15, before returning to the Loftus Sports Center for the Alex Wilson Invitational Feb. 22.
60m Hurdles: Kaila Barber came in sixth in this event with a time of 8:54.
60m Dash: Aijah Urssery finished in third place for Notre Dame with a time of 7.51, improving upon her time from the semifinals by two one-hundredths of a second.
200m Dash: In the finals of this event, Aijah Urssery had a seventh-place finish with a time of 24.95.
800m Run: Danielle Aragon, who placed first in the 1,000m run yesterday, finished in fourth for Notre Dame with a time of 2:09.32.
Mile: At one point in the race, Sydni Meunier was neck in neck for first place. By the end, she had slipped back to a 12th-place finish for Notre Dame with a time of 5:00.19.
Meyo Mile: Kelly Curran finished in fourth place with a time of 4:37.10--she was the fastest collegiate in the race. Ahead of her were three unattached runners, including Notre Dame alumna Rebecca Tracy (4:35.36) who finished second. All four top runners broke the meet record previously held by Lindsey Gallo of Michigan (4:37.97).
Shot Put: Emily Morris secured a third-place finish for the Irish with a throw of 15.43m. She improved upon her performance from last year's meet by nearly a full meter.
200m Dash: Josh Atkinson came in fifth in the finals for this event with a time of 21.46.
400m Dash: Chris Giesting won this event for the Irish, running it in a time of 46.38. He was just three tenths of a second away from the meet record.
800m Run: A string of Irish runners placed seventh, eighth and ninth in this event. Jacob Dumford was the first Notre Dame runner in with a time of 1:51.79. Next was Eric Gebeke at 1:51.79, and finally Jack Favorite came in ninth with a time of 1:51.92.
3,000m Run: Kevin Durham finished in ninth place for the Irish with a time of 8:44.72.
Mile: Chris Marco came in seventh for Notre Dame with a time of 4:10.91, just over a second removed from the top runner.
Meyo Mile: Jeremy Rae ran to the event victory in the Meyo Mile, running a sub four-minute mile (3:57.25) for the third consecutive year. Nick Happe came in third in the race with a time of 3:59.58, making it under that four-minute mark as well. Rae and Happe were joined by Sam Penzenstadler of Loyola who also made it in under four.
4x400m Relay: The men's team of Chris Giesting, Alex Groesch, Harvey Smith and Patrick Feeney came in second place with a time of 3:08.39. Feeney was just .05 seconds behind Lamar Bruton, who won the event for Ohio State.
--Lauren Chval, Media Relations Assistant