May 5, 2013
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The University of Notre Dame women’s track and field team completed its domination of its BIG EAST competition Sunday at the Baur Track & Field Complex as the Irish secured their second outdoor title in program history with a program-record 153 points to top second-place Connecticut by 50.25 points.
The men’s team turned in an impressive final day to jump from sixth to second place with 107.5 points, just 12 behind champion Connecticut.
Irish award winners Sunday included the women’s coaching staff earning BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year accolades for the second time (2007), while sophomore Chris Giesting tied Pittsburgh’s Carvin Nkanata for Most Outstanding Track Performer accolades, giving the Bates, Ind., native two in his two-year career.
The women earned their second outdoor title in school history and have now finished in the top three 11 times since 1995-96. The other championship came in 2007 when Notre Dame scored 120.5 points. Notre Dame concludes its time in the BIG EAST by sweeping the 2013 indoor and outdoor titles. The men swept last year and finished second in both meets this season.
As an athletic department, Notre Dame has now won eight BIG EAST titles during the 2012-13 school year and 125 since the Irish joined the league in 1995-96, the most during that time span.
In the three days, the women’s team won five titles and earned 14 all-BIG EAST scrolls, while the men’s team won four titles and secured nine all-BIG EAST medals. Winning titles on the women’s side were Michelle Brown (400m), Jade Barber (100m Hurdles), Alexa Aragon (3,000m Steeplechase), the 4x100m relay team composed of J. Barber, Margaret Bamgbose, Brown and Aijah Urssery, and the 4x400m relay team composed of Megan Yanik, Brown, Amber Lalla and Bamgbose.
Coming off a record-setting first-place team finish (141 points) at the 2013 BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships in Geneva, Ohio in February, the women’s team gathered in their first outdoor title since winning it in 2007 with 120.5 points.
The Irish topped second-place Connecticut (102.75 points) by 50.25 and third-place USF (97.75 points) by 55.25 points. The point total is a school record, bettering 2007’s point total by 32.50. It’s also the fifth time in program history the women’s team has compiled at least 100 points in the conference meet.
Michelle Brown set a new Bauer Track & Field Complex record with a winning time of 52.19 in the 400m. She overtakes fellow Domer, Liz Grow’s 2001 track record of 52.40, and closed in on Grow’s school record of 52.05. According to the Track & Field Results Reporting System, Brown has the second-fastest time in the country, just behind Arkansas’ Sparkle McKnight (52.17).
Chris Giesting set a new school record and was crowned a BIG EAST champion in the 400m with a time of 45.90, overtaking his previous best of 46.03 during last year’s outdoor track season. According to Track & Field Results Reporting System, his finish ties for the seventh-best time in the country with Middle Tennessee State’s Emmanuel Tuqumisirize.
Since 2008, the men’s squad has finished second or better as a team. Additionally the men have placed third or better in 12 straight years and 17 years overall. Furthermore, the men’s squad continued its streak of achieving 100 points or more since 2003.
The Irish will compete next at the Grand Valley Last Chance meet (May 10-11) in Allendale, Mich., for the third and final time this season as Notre Dame seeks to improve their qualifying marks for the NCAA’s. The qualifying athletes will then travel to Greensboro, N.C., (May 23-25) to begin their road to the NCAA Championships. The NCAA Championships will be held in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8, on the campus of the University of Oregon.
Post Meet Quotes:
Head Coach Joe Piane: “The women just flat out dominated today. There were a lot of impressive performances this weekend. Amber Lalla ran well in her leg of the 4x400m relay, Michelle (Brown), Rebecca (Tracy) and Margaret (Bamgbose) all ran well. The men were their own worst enemy this weekend. The UConn men did a great job all week, but we should have scored more points in certain events. Even so we were right there.”
Assistant Coach Tim Connelly: “There were high expectations with this team and we accomplished all we set out to do. It was a complete team effort on the women’s side.”
Jeremy Rae: “With this being the last BIG EAST meet for us and my last meet as a senior this win means a lot. I am consistently getting back into shape each and every day in my recovery over my past set backs. I am excited for my races moving forward. My goal is to make it through the prelims and once you get into the finals anything can happen. I just have to make sure I am prepared and I am excited to move on.”
Michelle Brown on two event victories: “We have came a long way in the 4x100m since freshman year and we have grown tremendously. A freshman like Margaret Bamgbose really stepped up to the plate today. I am just trying to get points for the team. I PR-ed too and was just a bit off the school record. It’s a possibility to break that at regionals and nationals, but right now I am just focused on our team and how we closed out the meet.”
Jarrod Buchanon on 400mH: “It an unreal feeling. I have always dreamed over the past three years of being in the winner circle with my teammates Patrick Feeney and Chris Giesting. It’s a dream come true today. My parents weren’t able to make it out, but I tried to honor them in this event. I am glad I was able to do it for them, for myself and especially for the team. We kind of all missed out on the first event, and to come back the way we did says a lot. The team camaraderie is really good right now."
BIG EAST Champions
Chris Giesting (400m)
Jeremy Rae (1,500m)
Jarrod Buchanon (400m Hurdles)
Michelle Brown (400m)
Jade Barber (100m Hurdles)
Alexa Aragon (3,000m Steeplechase)
All-BIG EAST Honors
Aijah Urssery (100m, 4x100m Relay)
Michelle Brown (400m, 4x100m Relay, 4x400m Relay)
Margaret Bamgbose (400m, 4x100m Relay, 4x400m Relay)
Danielle Aragon (800m, 4x800m Relay)
Rebecca Tracy (1,500m, 4x800m Relay)
Jade Barber (100m Hurdles, 4x100m Relay)
Nevada Sorenson (100m Hurdles)
Megan Yanik (400m Hurdles, 4x400m Relay)
Alexa Aragon (3,000m Steeplechase, 4x800m Relay)
Amber Lalla (4x400m Relay)
Kelly Curran (4x800m Relay)
Emily Morris (Shot Put)
Carly Loeffel (Heptathlon)
Chris Giesting (200m, 400m)
Patrick Feeney (200m, 400m)
Jeremy Rae (1,500m, 4x800m Relay)
Jarrod Buchanon (400m Hurdles)
Jack Favorite (4x800m Relay)
Eddy Gibbons (4x800m Relay)
Randall Babb (4x800m Relay)
Logan Renwick (Long Jump)
Ted Glasnow (Decathlon)