March 1, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With an abundance of ranked squads and national standouts, the University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s track team concluded the first day of the Alex Wilson Invitational with a new women’s distance medley relay school record and three top-five finishes in the men’s weight throw through the six events offered.
Kelly Curran, Danielle Aragon, Margaret Bamgbose and Alexa Aragon each contributed toward the new school record stopping the clock at 10:59.08. The record was previously set by Curran, Rebecca Tracy, Alexa Aragon and Natalie Geiger last year with a time of 11:04.45.
As the field of national competitors fight for a top-16 spot in their respective event to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships, four meet records fell along with two track records on the first day of competition.
The Irish are back in action tomorrow morning starting at 11:00 a.m. with the men’s and women’s triple jump. Follow @NDXCTF on twitter, live video streaming at flotrack.org, and UND.com for live results and a full recap.
Women’s Distance Medley Relay (Michigan)– 10:56.66
Men’s Distance Medley Relay (Penn State) – 9:26.60
Men’s 5,000: Andrew Poore (Unattached) – 13:39.29
Women’s 5,000: Sara Sutherland (Texas) – 15:52.99
Women’s Distance Medley Relay: (Michigan )-10:56.66
Men’s Distance Medley Relay (Penn State) – 9:26.60
Women’s Distance Medley Relay (Notre Dame)- 10.59.08
POST MEET QUOTES:
On DMR- “We came so close last year to qualifying and it was a disappointment to not make it,” said Kelly Curran. “This year we came in with the approach that every second matters and you have to make the most of each moment.”
On DMR- “We were definitely nervous coming into the event, but I think the nerves and the pressure fueled our performance,” said Alexa Aragon.
On DMR - “I was very proud of how those girls ran,” said associate head coach Tim Connelly. “Kelly got off to an unbelievable start and Margaret kept us in it with a really good 400m leg. Danielle maintained our pace with a great performance and then Alexa competed like crazy to finish it out. I thought going in we could run under 11 minutes or right around there and that would be good enough to get to nationals. Initially I thought about running Rebecca on the anchor end, but I had enough confidence to run Alexa that she would get us to the finish line. We will give Rebecca a chance to run fresh in the open mile tomorrow. It is exciting for those kids to get to nationals and if they compete like that they are going to do well.”
“It was an incredible meet overall,” said head coach Joe Plane. “We performed very well in the running events, but the field events were all great to add to that. What can you say about the women’s medley - unbelievable. Our ladies had an outstanding performance. The women’s and men’s 5,000m were both hot races. In the men’s distance medley there was a team ranked number one in the country coming in and now they are ranked 14th. The whole NCAA field came out of this meet tonight. This must be the place to come.”
COMPLETE RESULTS (TOP 10)
5000m: This event saw a likely national qualifier in Elliot Krause of Wisconsin. He set a time of 13:39.29. Notre Dame’s Jake Kildoo finished seventh in this event in a time of 14:14.96, and Martin Grady finished tenth with a time of 14:20.79.
Distance Medley Relay: The Fighting Irish, defending national champions in this event, did not field a team this weekend, but the crowd was treated to a great race nonetheless. In this extremely competitive race, the nation’s fourteen best times in this event were set over three heats. For perspective, only the nation’s top twelve qualify for the National Championship in relay events. Penn State won the event in a meet and track record of 9:26.60. Close behind were Princeton (9:27.74) and Stanford (9:28.25):
Weight Throw: Morrow Montrell of East Carolina set the 13th best mark in the nation with a throw of 21.00m. Irish throwers claimed third through sixth places in this event. Anthony Thomas finished third (18.87m), Jordan Stumph finished fourth (18.09m), Dominick Padovano finished fifth (16.18m), and Nick Hauser took sixth (13.22m).
Long Jump: No Irish jumpers hit the boards for the men this weekend, but Kendall Spencer of New Mexico and Korbin Smith of Ohio State both jumped 7.65m. At the time of this writing, this mark is good enough to tie both jumpers at 16th in the nation.
5000m: No Irish runners started the meet’s longest event, but Sara Sutherland of Texas (15:52.99) and Gina Valgoi of Loyola Chicago (15:54.37) placed eighth and 11th, respectively. They are now in good position to earn a trip to Nationals. Sutherland’s time broke the old meet record by 5.7 seconds.
DMR: This race was hotly contested throughout with Michigan, Kentucky, and the Fighting Irish constantly swapping places at the front. Eventually, the Irish crossed the tape in second (10:59.08) right behind Michigan (10:56.66). Michigan’s time was good enough for a new meet and track record, and the Irish’s time set a school record in the event. Michigan and Notre Dame now hold the first and fourth best times in the nation, respectively, and are ensured a spot in the upcoming NCAA Indoor National Championships.
Weight Throw: Irish athletes had three top ten finishers in the night’s only throwing event. Ihuoma Nwaogwugwu finished seventh with 17.52m, Vivien Devaney finished eighth with a 16.63m throw, and Madeline Casanova finished ninth by tossing the 20lb weight 16.46m. Long Jump: Erin Busbee of Michigan recorded the seventh best time in the nation by leaping 6.38m. Ann Marie Duffus of Kent State wasn’t far behind, jumping 6.33m. Duffus’s distance is good enough for 12th in the nation. Notre Dame’s Lauren Leniart finished ninth with a jump of 5.61m.
High Jump: Eastern Michigan’s Tatijana Jacobson won this event jumping 1.78m. Her height is only 2cm below the meet record of 1.80m. Notre Dame’s Kendra Jennings took second with a leap of 1.70m.