April 23, 2017
By Megan Golden
WACO, Texas -- The University of Notre Dame track and field team carried its momentum into Saturday with a historic day at the Michael Johnson Invitational (Waco, Texas) and the Virginia Challenge (Charlottesville, Va.).
At the Michael Johnson Invitational, senior Anthony Shivers sparked the Irish with a 66.21m throw in the hammer, breaking his own school record by .61m. Shivers’ mark ranks fifth-best in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 28th in the country.
Freshmen Logan Kusky (57.20m) and Shae Watkins (48.59m) finished sixth and 15th in the hammer throw, respectively.
Watkins also threw in the shot put, placing 13th (14.23m).
In his fourth outdoor meet of the year, senior Nathan Richartz recorded his second first-place finish with a 5.41m vault. Richartz, who is the reigning ACC Men’s Field Performer of the Week, followed up his personal-best performance (5.51m) with another impressive jump at Baylor on Saturday.
Notre Dame had three athletes race to personal records and top-10 finishes in the 100m hurdles. Freshmen Summer Thorpe (13.71) and Grace Cronin (13.80) finished back-to-back with personal records in sixth and seventh place, and senior Taylor Craft came in 10th with a personal-best time of 14.02.
Craft followed that performance with a fifth-place finish in the triple jump (12.33).
In the 100m dash, freshman Michaela Butler tied her personal record with a time of 12.12 and a fifth-place finish. Butler previously achieved that time at the Yellow Jacket Invitational. On the men’s side, senior Tommy Grant (10.85) finished 17th, while sophomore Zachary Zajdel (10.97) placed 22nd.
Zajdel placed fifth in the 200m dash, coming just short of a personal record with a time of 22.22.
On the women’s side, sophomore Kyla Lewis (25.28) and freshmen Madysen Hunter (25.31) and Butler (25.36) each recorded top-10 performances in the 200m dash. Lewis led the pack with a fifth-place finish, while Hunter finished seventh and Butler finished ninth.
Senior Indi Jackson finished the shot put in fourth place with a 14.87m throw. Freshman Abbey Kapitan also recorded a top-10 finish with a 14.20m throw (ninth place).
Junior Payton Miller finished ninth in the women’s 400m dash (55.30).
Sophomore Alexa Coubal (42.74m) placed 11th in the discus and freshman Kassadee Ifft (3.61m) tied for 15th in the pole vault.
Notre Dame’s women’s 4x100m relay squad of Sharp, Thorpe, Butler and Lewis finished fifth overall in 46.88. The Irish women’s 4x400m relay team -- Miller, Thorpe, Cronin and junior Jordan Shead -- crossed the line in fourth place with a 3:43.51 mark.
Virginia Challenge Recap
Senior Jacob Dumford (3:47.93) led the Irish with a 21st-place finish in the 1,500m, and senior Christopher Marco followed immediately behind Dumford (3:48.21) in 22nd. Freshman Ryan Schweizer came in 33rd with a time of 3:49.54.
Graduate student Danielle Aragon took home the gold medal in the women's 1,500m, racing in 4:15.65. Junior Jessica Harris, who broke her own school record in the 800m on Friday, finished third with a personal record time of 4:16.56.
Aragon remains ranked No. 10 in the country in the 1,500m, while Harris enters the conversation in the No. 17 spot.
Sophomore Anna Rohrer raced to a second-place finish in the 5,000m, recording a time of 15:43.07. Junior Lexi Pelletier took 16th place with a 16:24.91 mark.
Junior Kevin Pulliam (29:50.17) impressed in the 10,000m in front of hometown fans, improving his personal record by more than one minute. Pulliam finished fifth, and junior Brent Kennedy (30:17.62) came in 14th.
Sophomore Rachel Rhodes, who entered the day in 14th place in the heptathlon, finished ninth overall. Rhodes finished second in the 800m portion of the heptathlon with a time of 2:17.80.
Coming Up Next
Notre Dame returns to action at the Penn Relays and the Gina Relays next weekend. The Penn Relays will run from April 27-29 at Ben Franklin Field (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). The Gina Relays will take place from April 28-29 at Ken Herrick Track (Hillsdale, Michigan).
For a closer, behind-the-scenes look at the Irish track and field team, follow @NDXCTF on Twitter.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women's lacrosse and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary's College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.