June 11, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. --- For the Notre Dame track and field teams, today was "a very good day" if you ask head coach Joe Piane. Six of the 12 traveling Irish athletes competed on the first day, and four of those six moved on to the finals of their events in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
"It was a good day--we're all positive," Piane said. "We can't complain."
Junior Chris Giesting and senior Patrick Feeney ran in the first event of the day for Notre Dame--the men's 400m dash--at 5 p.m. Giesting became the first Irish athlete to qualify for the finals with a sixth place finish and a time of 45.68. Feeney finished 10th in 45.88, just missing qualifying for the finals.
Fifteen minutes later, the women's 400m semifinals began. Sophomore Margaret Bamgbose (51.76) and senior Michelle Brown (51.86) finished first and second in the second heat, automatically qualifying for the finals along with Giesting.
Those four athletes will join their teammates tomorrow for the men's and women's 4x400m relay races. Piane says competing in multiple events is something his runners are used to.
"They'll be fine," he said. "They'll be all fired up for tomorrow. Pat Feeney will run inspired because he's upset that he didn't qualify. He ran very well, he just didn't quite make it."
Junior Kaila Barber ran a time of 1:00.84 in the 400m hurdles, failing to place in the top eight to qualify for the finals.
Senior Alexa Aragon ran in the last event of the day for Notre Dame, the 3,000m steeplechase. Aragon placed fifth in 9:59.67, qualifying for the finals.
Giesting, Feeney, Bamgbose and Brown will run along with teammates junior Amber Lalla, senior Megan Yanik, senior Jarrod Buchanon and freshman Harvey Smith in tomorrow's 4x400m relay semifinals. The men's race because at 6:20 p.m. and the women's at 6:40 p.m.
--Lauren Chval, Media Relations Assistant