Feb. 13, 2016
By Lizzie Mikes
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame track and field programs finished competition at the Iowa State Invitational and SPIRE Division I meets Saturday. The top finish of the day was the women’s 4x400-meter relay team of Jordan Shead, Kaila Barber, Payton Miller and Margaret Bamgbose, who crossed the line in 3:37.87. Their result is the best time of the year to date, and stands second amongst conference times.
“At the SPIRE today in Ohio, the women’s 4x4 ran very well today,” Irish head coach Alan Turner said. “They had a season best time, 3:37. Ohio State ran away with it with their 3:30 time, that will definitely get them into the NCAA Championships, and we have to cut a few more seconds off if we want to be there too. The team is looking very good to win an ACC title here in a few weeks and possibly qualify for nationals. It was a pretty good meet all in all, and we’re preparing for the ACC Championships in a few weeks.”
Several other Irish entrants competed at the SPIRE meet Saturday. In men’s high jump, Hunter Holton took fifth (2.06m) and Matthew Birzer finished 10th (1.96m), with Holton’s jump standing as a personal best. In women’s long jump, Emily Carson finished third in her flight and placed fifth overall with her jump of 5.68 meters.
In women’s shot put, Indi Jackson took second and Alexa Coubal 11th in the second flight. Jackson’s score of 14.35 meters was good for ninth overall, while Coubal’s 12.08 meters earned her 26th place.
In men’s pole vault, Nate Richartz took third (5.03 meters) and Daniel Hardiman took 29th in the shot put competition with his 13.93-meter throw. Brent Swanberg finished 19th in the 60 meter hurdles, running in 8.76. Swanberg also finished 27th in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:07.83.
The men’s team also had three, 3,000-meter entries, as Kevin Pulliam set a personal record and finished 11th (8:17.84). Timothy Ball also ran a personal best and came in 13th (8:18.28) and Brent Kennedy finished 17th (8:19.55).
On the women’s side, Kaila Barber advanced into the finals in the 60-meter hurdles, taking first in her heat (8.32) before finishing fifth with her finals time of 8.47. Taylor Craft also raced, coming in seventh in heat one (9.07) and 24th overall.
In the women’s 60-meter dash, Kyla Lewis finished 11th (7.63) and Emily Carson took 16th 7.76), while Parker English came in 20th (7.80). Miller also raced in the 400-meters, crossing the finish line 12th (55.85). Miller’s time stands as an indoor personal record for her.
“At Iowa State, Molly and Anna were the highlight for us last night,” Turner said. “They weren’t running all out, they were running side by side for most of the way, so both of those young ladies can go much faster. Our distance coach Matt Sparks believes they can go 15 to 30 seconds faster by the end of the indoor season, and they should edge one another at the ACC Championships.
“Other highlights at Iowa State were Christopher Marco and Jacob Dumford; they both ran very well today and we hope they can slice a few more seconds off in a few weeks for ACCs. They need to do that, since there’s about three or four guys ahead of them in the national standings that are right at or under four minutes. I definitely think they can score some big points for us,” he finished.
The team is next in action at their last home meet of the season next Saturday, February 20 at the Alex Wilson Invitational, held in the Loftus Center.
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Lizzie Mikes serves as Media Services Coordinator at the University of Notre Dame. A 2013 graduate of Johnson & Wales University, she oversees credential management and is the athletic communications director for Fighting Irish men's and women's swimming and diving and track and field. She has assisted with numerous NCAA postseason events hosted by Notre Dame, and is heavily involved in the day-to-day tasks of the athletic communications office.