May 6, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. - On the strength of six individual victories and a relay win over the course of three days, the Notre Dame men's track and field squad won its eighth BIG EAST Outdoor Track and Field Championship on Sunday afternoon at the USF Track and Field Stadium. Not to be outdone, the Irish women finished second, which is an improvement of eight spots from last year's 10th-place finish and the squad's best finish since 2007.
The men rolled past second-place and host USF (100 pts), as the Irish scored 153 points, highlighted by 11 all-BIG EAST performers in nine events. The women (99.50 pts) finished just 4.5 points out of a tie for first place with Louisville (104 pts), as they had 10 all-BIG EAST performers in eight events.
Earning victories on the men's side were Kevin Schipper (Pole Vault), Jeremy Rae (1,500m), Chris Giesting (200m and 400m), Logan Renwick (Triple Jump), Andrew Hills (Hammer Throw) and the men's 4x800m relay team of Randall Babb, Jack Favorite, Johnathan Shawel and Rae.
For Schipper it's his sixth BIG EAST pole vault title in a row (indoor and outdoor) and the ninth of the last 10 for the Schipper family as Kevin's older brother Matt won two indoor titles and an outdoor title of his own.
Giesting continues his remarkable freshman campaign with two BIG EAST titles, including breaking the school record in the 400m dash. After the meet he was named BIG EAST Men's Most Outstanding Track Performer, becoming the fourth in school history and first since 2002.
Picking up victories on the women's side were Rebecca Tracy (1,500m) and the 4x100m relay team of Kaila Barber, Jade Barber, Michelle Brown and Aijah Urssery.
The men's total of 153 points is the third most in school history behind 172.5 points in 2004 and 164 in 2000. Notre Dame also won titles in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2003 and 2000.
The women's total of 99.50 points is the most since 120.5 points in 2007. The Irish also secured second place in 2006, 2005, 2003 and 2002 and won their lone title in 2007.
For their efforts the men's coaching staff headed up by veteran head coach Joe Piane was named the BIG EAST Men's Coaching Staff of the Year for the eighth time.
Notre Dame now turns its attention to qualifying for the NCAA East Regionals that are in three weeks as the Irish head to the Grand Valley Last Chance meet next weekend in Allendale, Mich.
SUNDAY RESULTS (Top Eight Only)
Kevin Schipper won his sixth BIG EAST pole vault title as he vaulted 5.25m to win the event by a full foot. The Leo, Ind., native has now won every indoor and outdoor title since 2010.
Chris Giesting set a new stadium and school record in the 400m dash as he claimed the title in 46.03. The old record of 46.09 was set by Dan Shannon in 1984. The Batesville, Ind., product was joined in the finals by Patrick Feeney, the reigning 400m champion, who finished third in 46.57, and Brendan Dougherty, who placed eighth in 48.01.
Chris Giesting (21.15) won his second title of the day as he took the 200m dash title by just .02 seconds over USF's Reshaw Exilien. Josh Atkinson finished fifth in 21.52, while Feeney finished seventh in 21.69.
Anthony Thomas earned an all-BIG EAST scroll after finishing third in the discus with a throw of 51.95m.
Jarrod Buchanon finished seventh in the 400m dash with a time of 53.41.
Notre Dame had a strong women's 1,500m race as three Irish runners finished in the top five. Rebecca Tracy won the event in 4:22.71, while Kelly Curran took third in 4:24.88 and Alexa Aragon placed fifth in 4:26.55.
Aijah Urssery placed third in the 100m dash (11.59) to earn her second all-BIG EAST scroll on the day.
Michelle Brown played fifth in the 400m dash with a time of 54.18.
Madeline Casanova finished seventh in the discus with a toss of 46.16m.
BOLD* = Champion
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