Feb. 14, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams begin their quest toward a conference title Saturday as they open action in Geneva, Ohio at the 2013 BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Opened in the fall of 2010, the Spire Institute will serve as the host venue for the two-day meet
Action gets underway Saturday morning and will conclude Sunday.
“Both the men’s and women’s meets should produce a very competitive two days,” said head coach Joe Piane. “There are a handful of schools on both sides that could easily bring home a title, and I feel like we are among the handful that have a great shot. If we have good solid performances throughout all the events I think we should give ourselves a good chance to win.”
NEWS AND NOTES
TRACK-ING THE MEET: Free live video streaming, heat sheets and results will be available on the BIG EAST’s championship central page at bigeast.org. Follow the team’s twitter page @NDXCTF for picture postings and frequent updates. Sign up for “IRISH ALERT” to get daily standings sent straight to your mobile device. Fans can access the service by visiting UND.com and clicking on the fan center tab. A complete recap and results will be posted to the team’s page at UND.com concluding each day.
To date, 66 (30 men, 36 women) Notre Dame roster members have qualified for the BIG EAST Championships in their respective events.
LAST YEAR’S OUTCOME: Last season at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in New York, N.Y., the men’s team won the BIG EAST Championship with a total 131 points. Notre Dame held off second place Connecticut by 28 points. The Irish and the Huskies were the only two teams to break into triple digits out of the field of 13 teams.
The women’s squad placed fourth with a two-day total of 79 points. Notre Dame finished behind third-place Villanova by 10.50 points.
Patrick Feeney (400m), Kevin Schipper (Pole Vault), Jeremy Rae (Mile) and Nevada Sorenson (60mH) won their respective events. Ten male student-athletes and six female student-athletes earned All-BIG EAST honors.
Point totals to look out for this weekend are 182 for the men and 140 for the women. Those numbers represent the most points scored at a BIG EAST Indoor Championship meet by the Irish squads, respectively.
TITLE COUNT: The men’s team enters the weekend contest with five BIG EAST Indoor Championships (last in 2012) and 17 top-three finishes. The women’s team enters with two championships (last in 2006) and seven top-three finishes.
The Irish teams have earned seven BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year awards over the years with five coming following the men’s championships and two following the women’s championships.
The men have also had two outstanding track performers, with the last coming in 2005 at the hands (and feet) of hurdle standout and future Olympian Selim Nurudeen.
2012-13 BIG EAST MEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Chris Giesting was awarded the honor during the week of Jan. 22 after winning the 200m (21.69), 500m (1:03.17) and contributing toward a first-place finish in the 4x400m relay (3:12.68) at the Notre Dame Invitational. Patrick Feeney picked up the accolade during the week of Feb. 5 after winning the 400m (46.13) and helping the 4x400m relay (3:09.93) team to a first-place finish at the Meyo Invitational.
SCHOOL RECORDS: Three school records were broken at the Meyo Invitational this year. Danielle Aragon broke Kelly Langhan’s 2009 800m school record (2:08.24) with a time of 2:07.58. Jade Barber lowered sister Kalia Barber’s 2012 60m hurdles record (8.27) to an 8.26. On the men’s side Feeney improved his 2012 school record in the 400m from 46.55 to 46.13.
NEVER LOOKING BACK: Patrick Feeney enters the weekend contest undefeated on the year in the 400m. He additionally leads the men’s squad with seven event victories on the year. Feeney was named all-BIG EAST in the 400m and the 4x400m last year. Feeney additional received the honor in the 400m in 2011.
Giesting also racked up all-BIG EAST accolades (500m, 4x400m relay) last year. The Batesville, Ind., native ranks in the top five for three BIG EAST events, while Feeney ranks in the top four in two events. Giesting enters the championship meet ranked No. 21 in the nation in the 400m, while Feeney is ranked No. 1 in the BIG EAST and No. 3 nationally.
Feeney is seeking to become just the fourth Irish men’s indoor standout to win a single event three consecutive years at the BIG EAST Championships. He would join Kevin Schipper (pole vault) Mike Brown (pole vault) and Jason Rexing (5,000m) in the exclusive club.
SETTING NEW HEIGHTS: Annie Polcari (pole vault) has finished fifth or better in all five meets she has participated in this season. She is credited with two first-place finishes and two second-place finishes. Polcari ranks second on the BIG EAST’s performance list (4.00m) just .20m behind Cincinnati’s MacKenzie Field. She is also T-33rd in the nation.
MILE MARKER: Rebecca Tracy has finished second or better each time she has ran in the mile this year. Tracy won the prestigious Meyo Mile at the Meyo Invitational with a winning time of 4:39.52. The mark ranks her fourth in the BIG EAST (and 24th nationally) just two seconds behind Syracuse’s Lauren Penney who holds the top spot.
THE BARBER FILES: Jade and Kaila have finished third or better in each meet they have competed in this season in their respective event. Kaila Barber leads the women’s team with six event victories on the year and currently ranks No. 1 in the BIG EAST and 26th nationally in the long jump (6.12m). Jade Barber holds the top spot in the BIG EAST in the 60m hurdles with a time 8.26. Jade (14th) and Kaila (T-23rd) each crack the top-25 in the country in the 60m hurdles. Kaila ranks 26th in the nation in the long jump and Jade ranks 27th in the nation as a member on the 4x400m relay team.
THE SORENSON FILE: Nevada Sorenson won the 60m hurdles at last year’s championship meet with a winning time of 8.36. Sorenson will look to be the second Irish women’s runner to repeat as champion in her event after Lauren King did so in the mile (2003, 2004). Sorenson racked up a second-place finish in the 60m hurdles at the Bob Eubanks Open (8.48) and at the Meyo Invitational (8.29). Sorenson currently ranks second in the BIG EAST and 17th nationally in the 60m hurdles.
THE ARAGON FILE: Freshman Danielle Aragon nabbed two first-place finishes on the year in the 800m. Aragon ran a winning time of 2:09.72 at the Notre Dame Invitational and a winning time of 2:07.58 at the Meyo Invitational. Aragon ranks 33rd in the NCAA and third in the BIG EAST in the 800m.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU: Michelle Brown has finished third or better in the 400m through five meets. Brown finished first in the event at the Blue & Gold Invitational (54.79) and the Notre Dame Invitational (54.59). Brown also picked up a first-place finish in the 300m (38.76) at the Bob Eubanks Open. She was runner-up in the 400m at the Indiana Relays crossing the line at 54.91. Brown recently finished third in the 400m (54.67) at the Meyo invitational within a field of 72 competitors.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE IRISH: Notre Dame will close out the regular season in two weeks when it welcomes in some of the nation’s elite for the Alex Wilson Invitational March 1-2. The meet is the fourth at Loftus Sports Center this season and completes the Irish home meets this season.
MEN BIG EAST PERFORMANCE LIST (TOP-EIGHT)
Patrick Feeney – 200m (4th), 400m, (1st)
Chris Giesting – 200m (5th), 400 (4th), 500m (2nd)
Brendan Dougherty – 400m (6th), 500m (3rd)
Eric Gebeke – 800m (7th)
Michael Clevenger – 5,000m (8th)
Jarrod Buchanon – 60mH (8th)
Keith Mesidor – Long Jump (6th)
Logan Renwick – Triple Jump (6th)
Andrew Brock – Shot Put (7th)
Anthony Thomas – Weigh Throw (4th)
Jordan Stumph – Weight Throw (6th)
Ted Glasnow – Heptathlon (3rd)
Dean Odegard – Heptathlon (6th)
4x400m Relay (2nd)
4x800m Relay (1st)
WOMEN BIG EAST PERFORMANCE LIST (TOP-EIGHT)
Jade Barber – 60mH (1st)
Kaila Barber - 200m (6th), 60mH (3rd), Long Jump (1st)
Michelle Brown - 400m (1st)
Margaret Bamgbose - 400m (2nd)
Megan Yanik – 500m (4th)
Danielle Aragon – 800m (3rd)
Rebecca Tracy – Mile (4th)
Jessica Rydberg – 5,000m (7th)
Nevada Sorenson – 60mH (2nd)
Ann Polcari – Pole Vault (2nd)
Kelly Burke – Pole Vault (T-6th)
Kayla Polcari – Pole Vault (T-6th)
Mary Esther Gourdin – Triple Jump (1st)
Emily Morris – Shot Put (7th)
Vivien Devaney – Weight Throw (7th)
Carly Loeffel – Pentathlon (4th)
Meghan Moore – Pentathlon (6th)
4x400m Relay (1st)
4x800m Relay (2nd)
RANKED NO. 1 ON THE BIG EAST PERFORMANCE LIST
Patrick Feeney – 400m (46.13)
Michelle Brown – 400m (54.59)
Jade Barber – 60H (8.26)
Women – 4x400m relay (3:38.50)
Men – 4x800m relay (7:37.73)
Women – 4x800m relay (8:47.94)
Kaila Barber – Long Jump (6.12m)
Mary Esther Gourdin – Triple Jump (12.54m)
NCAA Rankings (Top-50)
4x400m Relay - Dougherty, Giesting, Buchanon, Feeney (19th)
800m - Danielle Aragon (33rd)
Mile - Rebecca Tracy (24th)
4x400m Relay - Barber, Brown, Yanik, Bamgbose (27th)
Pole Vault - Ann Polcari (33rd)
Long Jump - Kaila Barber (26th)
Triple Jump - Mary Esther Gourdin (25th)
Pentathlon – Carly Loeffel (40th)
Men's BIG EAST Qualifiers (By Event - Relays Not Included)
Triple Jump - Logan Renwick
Shot Put - Andrew Brock
Women's BIG EAST Qualifiers (By Event - Relays Not Included)
Men's BIG EAST Qualifiers (By Person - Relays Not Included)
Steve Blazer - 800m, 1,000m
Andrew Brock - Shot Put
Kevin Byrne - 1,000m
Jarrod Buchanon - 60m Hurdles
Michael Clevenger - Mile, 3,000m, 5,000m
Brendan Dougherty - 400m, 500m
Aaron Dunn - 400m
Jack Favorite - 800m
Patrick Feeney - 60m, 200m, 400m
Eric Gebeke - 800m
Eddy Gibbons - 800m
Chris Giesting - 200m, 400m, 500m, 800m
Ted Glasnow - Pole Vault, Long Jump, Heptathlon
Martin Grady - 5,000m
Jake Kildoo - 3,000m, 5,000m
Patrick Krach - Pole Vault
Jeff MacMillan - 3,000m, 5,000m
Keith Mesidor - 60m, 200m, Long Jump
Dean Odegard - Pole Vault, Heptathlon
Dominick Padovano - Weight Throw
Logan Renwick - Long Jump, Triple Jump
Spencer Rheinhardt - 800m
Walter Schafer - 3,000m, 5,000m
David Schipper - Pole Vault
Jordan Stumph - Weight Throw
Anthony Thomas - Weight Throw
DJ Thornton - Mile
Bryce Wood - 60m Hurdles
Women's BIG EAST Qualifiers (By Person - Relays Not Included)
Kelsey Amarosa - 800m
Alexa Aragon - Mile, 3,000m
Danielle Aragon - 800m, 1,000m
Margaret Bamgbose - 200m, 400m
Jade Barber - 60m, 200m, 400m, 60m Hurdles
Kaila Barber - 60m, 200m, Long Jump
Michelle Brown - 400m
Kelly Burke - Pole Vault
Madeline Casanova, Weight Throw
Jessie Christian - Long Jump, Triple Jump
Kelly Curran - 800m, 1,000m, Mile, 3,000m
Vivien Devaney - Weight Throw
Chrissy Finkel - Pole Vault
Emily Frydrych - 1,000m
Gabby Gonzales - 5,000m
Mary Esther Gourdin - Triple Jump
Kaileen Healy - 800m
Kendra Jennings - High Jump
Emily Kujawski - Shot Put
Amber Lalla - 200m, 400m, 500m
Carly Loeffel - 60m Hurdles, High Jump, Long Jump, Pentathlon
Lena Madison - Weight Throw
Sydni Meunier - 800m, 1,000m, Mile
Meghan Moore - 60m Hurdles, Long Jump, Pentathlon
Emily Morris - Shot Put, Weight Throw
Ihuoma Nwaogwugwu - Weight Throw
Ann Polcari - Pole Vault
Kayla Polcari - Pole Vault
Meg Ryan - 3,000m
Angela Ryck - 800m, 1,000m
Jessica Rydberg - 5,000m
McKinzie Schulz - 800m, 1,000m, Mile, 3,000m
Nevada Sorenson - 60m Hurdles
Rebecca Tracy - Mile, 3,000m
Aijah Urssery - 60m, 200m
Jaclyn Winkel - 200m, 400m, 500m
Megan Yanik - 200m, 400m, 500m