Feb. 2, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The 2012 version of the elite Meyo Invitational is set to kickoff at 4 p.m. (ET) on Friday inside Notre Dame's Loftus Sports Center.
The invitational, which is entering its 25th year of existence, welcomes elite teams and competitors from around the country.
"It's a very good meet for the fans," said Irish head coach Joe Piane. "They will see some great competitors no matter what event they pick. We have Olympians competing and we have races with only BIG EAST runners in it. It should be an extremely fun meet for the fans in attendance."
Highlighting the meet is a pair of distance events that have become synonymous with the Meyo Invitational.
The Meyo Mile, which will be run at 3 p.m. on Saturday, boasts elite mile runners from around they country as they look to break the always impressive four-minute mark. In the past four years alone, 10 runners have broken the 4:00 barrier, including Notre Dame's own Jeremy Rae, who went 3:59.62 last season.
The brainchild of Piane, the Meyo Mile has been a highlight of the Meyo Invitational since 1988. The race, meet and track are named after Ray Meyo, who donated all of the money to build the track.
"A runner went below four minutes in the very first Meyo Mile in 1988, and ever since then the track has been known as a great place to come and run the mile," said Piane.
The second elite event is the Ryan Shay men's 3,000 meter run, which is named after former Irish great Ryan Shay, who passed away in late 2007 while running in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in New York City.
Shay, a 2001 Notre Dame graduate, earned nine All-America citations while wearing the Notre Dame blue and gold, including winning the 2001 NCAA Championship in the 10,000m.
A decorated student-athlete, Shay was also named an Academic All-American in addition to his All-America laurels. Following graduation, Shay won the 2003 USA Marathon.
He still holds the Notre Dame record for the indoor 5,000m with a time of 13:46.80.
"We thought it would be very appropriate to honor Ryan by naming an event after him that he was very good at," said Piane.
The Ryan Shay men's 3,000m run is slated for 4:25 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Friday's events kick off at 4 p.m. with the women's long jump, while Saturday's festivities begin at 10 a.m. with the women's unseeded 3,000m run. The elite events begin on Saturday with the women's and men's 60m hurdles finals at 2:40 p.m. and 2:50, respectively, and the Meyo Mile at 3 p.m.
For fans that can't make the event, live stats will be available. A link will be on UND.com just prior to the beginning of the meet. Flotrack will be covering the Meyo Invitational with videos available post-meet here. Live video of Saturday's elite races will begin at 2:30 p.m. Links can be found at the top of the page.
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