March 2, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Describing the 2013 Alex Wilson Invitational on the campus of the University of Notre Dame as a regular track and field meet would not do it justice. A total of seven meet records, three track records and four Notre Dame records fell on the final day. Including Friday's results, a total of 11 meet records, five track records and five Notre Dame records fell.
The Irish broke four school records, one meet record and one track record on Saturday. The Irish accomplished 15 top-five finishes on the day. Notre Dame additionally racked up four second-place finishes and two event victories.
Senior Rebecca Tracy pulled off a momentous feat capturing the school, track and meet record in the mile. Tracy locked up a spot into the NCAA Indoor Championships in the mile after jumping from 30th to sixth on the national list.
Notre Dame's qualifying student-athletes will wrap up the indoor track & field season as they compete next weekend (March 8-9) in the NCAA Championships held in Fayetteville, Ark.
3,000m - Henry Lelei (Texas A&M) 7:47.91
60mH - Jade Barber (Notre Dame) 8.13
High Jump- James Harris (Florida State) 2.26m
Triple Jump - Preston Woodard (Prairie View) 16.06m
Mile- Rebecca Tracy (Notre Dame) 4:33.53
Mile- Austin Mudd (Wisconsin) 3:58.59
400M - Brycen Spratling (Pittsburgh) 45.92
3,000m- Henry Lelei (Texas A&M) 7:47.91
Mile - Rebecca Tracy (Notre Dame) 4:33.53
400m- Chris Giesting 46.05
60mH - Jade Barber 8.13
Mile - Rebecca Tracy 4:33.53
Jade Barber - 60mH
Rebecca Tracy - Mile
POST MEET QUOTES:
"I knew I could run fast coming into today," said Chris Giesting. "At the BIG EAST I ran the 500m instead of the 400m. I ran a really fast 500m time so I knew I could put a 400m together. I didn't make the fast heat unfortunately, but there were a lot of fast guys to run with. They pushed me in the first 200m. It was really competitive and I knew I needed to get ahead of them at the break so I could get lane one coming into the turn. I pushed myself coming around the last curve and I just tried to hold off until the end. It feels really good to advance to the NCAA's. You work all fall just to race one race, for that one chance to get in. When you do it, you feel accomplished and you feel proud."
"I was really disappointed with my preliminary race," said Jade Barber. "I got off to a slow start, but I spoke to my mom, my teammates and my coaches and they gave me great encouragement going into the finals. I made some minor adjustments and fixed my start to have a great finals race. I am excited for the NCAA's. I am both excited and honored to represent Notre Dame as a sophomore."
"It's been a super exciting day," said Rebecca Tracy. "We sit down and see the records every day when we stretch and they are right there. I thought I could run the school and meet record, but it's pretty special to run the fieldhouse record as well. This is our last home meet and I was trying not to think about it before hand, but I am really going to miss running here. The Wilson (Alex Wilson Invitational) has always been a really rough meet for me. To come in and run the mile the way I did today was a great way to cap it all off. It was great to cheer on the girls in the distance medley relay. Their finish yesterday gave me a lot of confidence in the mile today."
"We had a great day," said assistant head coach Tim Connelly. "Starting with Jade (Barber). She lowered her best by a tenth of a second and that doesn't happen in the hurdles very much. She did a great job. The mile with Rebecca (Tracy) was amazing. Kelly (Curran) did a great job of setting it up for Rebecca to run fast. Rebecca's whole goal was to win the race and that's what we always focused on. You could see in that last 100 she didn't want anyone to beat her. I knew she was ready to run fast, that's the reason I took the chance of pulling her off the distance medley, but I didn't expect it would be that fast. "
"We had a good amount of kids make it to the NCCA's today," said head coach Joe Piane. "Rebecca (Tracy) ran great but you have to give credit as well to Kelly Curran to rabbit the race for Rebecca. To look at it from our perspective we had a great meet. To look at it in the perspective as the meet itself it was unreal. This was the best meet in America this week."
60m hurdles: Jade Barber won her preliminary heat with a time of 8.29 to advance to the finals. Her preliminary time was the fastest time in the field tying with Kent State's Ann Marie Duffus. Jade Barber did not disappoint in the finals as she once again improves her school record previously set at 8.23. Barber also stamps the Irish name for the meet record which was previously held by Central Michigan's Tamera Thomas that was set in 2006 with a time of 8.17. Barber additional ties for the fourth best time in the nation with today's effort.
3,000m: Meg Ryan placed fifth in the event crossing the line at 9:41.22.
Shot Put: Emily Morris placed second in the event with a hurl of 14.65m. Emily Kujawski placed third with a throw of 12.50m. Freshman Lena Madison (4th) achieved her best throw of her collegiate career with a distance of 12.31m.
400m: Michelle Brown stopped the clock at 53.40 placing fourth in a field of 24 competitors. Event winner Marlena Wesh (52.98) from Clemson threatened to break the school and meet record, both of which held by Miami's (Fla.) Ginou Etieene with a time of 52.67.
Pole Vault: Ann Polcari cleared a height of 3.88m to finish seventh.
Triple Jump: Mary Esther Gourdin placed seventh with a top leap of 11.99m.
High Jump: Kendra Jennings was the runner-up in the event with a best height of 1.70m.
Women's Mile: Rebecca Tracy pulls off the trifecta of setting a new school, meet and track record with a time of 4:33.53. Tracy reclaims the meet and track record that was previously held by Wichita State's Kellyn Johnson with a time of 4:35.35. She additional overtakes Lauren King (4:38.37-2003) for the new school record. Previously ranked 30th in the country, Tracy sits in the sixth spot in the nation earning a spot in the NCAA National Championships.
4x400m: Combined by the effort of Jade Barber, Michelle Brown, Megan Yanik and Margaret Bamgbose the Irish set a new school record in the event with a time of 3:34.67. The record has stood since 2003 and was recorded by Ayesha Boyd, Tiffany Gunn, Kristen Dodd and Kymia Love with a time of 3:35.26.
3000m: The day's longest running event went out at a blistering pace with Texas A&M star Henry Lelei looking to set a fast time. Along with two unattached pace-setters, he and Virginia Tech's William Mulherin broke from the field quickly. After spending the entire race at the front, Lelei broke the tape in 7:47.91, a new meet and track record. This time is also good enough for second in the nation. Mulherin finished second in 7:52.54 to place him at 13th in the nation. Also of note: unattached runner Jeremy Rae made his first competitive appearance of the year. 60m Hurdles Final: Greggmar Swift of Indiana State cleared the five barriers and crossed the line in 7.75 seconds. This time places him in a tie for 12th in the nation with three other hurdlers.
400m: Records fell as a stacked field ran through the seven heats of this event. Brycen Spratling of Pittsburgh set a new meet record on his way to victory with a time of 45.92. Notre Dame's own Christopher Giesting came in at second setting a new team record of 46.05. He took this record over from his teammate Patrick Feeney who set the record earlier this year, but wasn't in the event as his trip to the National Championships is all but assured. The track record is unlikely to fall any time soon, as the mark of 45.47 was set by the reigning 400m World and Olympic Champion Kirani James. Alex Wilson
800m: In the meet's signature event, Sean Obinwa of Florida set the day's fastest time from a slow heat. His time of 1:47.90 was good enough to place him at tenth nationally. Gabriel Genovesi of Akron also ran into a spot on the qualification bubble by placing second with a time of 1:48.31, which is currently good enough for 15th in the nation.
Mile: The mile run saw four sub-four-minute performances today from two heats. Reigning Meyo Mile champion Austin Mudd of Wisconsin outran a very competitive field in a time of 3:58.59. This time places him at 14th in the nation, which may be just good enough to secure him a spot on the start line in Fayetteville, Ark. for next week's National Championships.
4x400m: With National Championship qualification on the line, some of the country's fastest collegiate teams started this weekend's final event. Florida State shocked the field from the first heat by winning the event in 3:06.55 to safely put them in qualifying range. Right behind them were LSU (3:07.41) and Pittsburgh (3:07.42). Both of these teams have likely qualified for the national championships. The Fighting Irish squad of Brendan Dougherty, Christopher Giesting, Jarrod Buchanon, and Patrick Feeney placed ninth in 3:08.25.
High Jump: ACC high jump champion James Harris of Florida State won this event with a meet record jump of 2.26m. This height currently ties him for sixth in the nation. Marcus Jackson of Mississippi State finished second at 2.23m, which places him in a tie for lucky 13th in the nation.
Triple Jump: Another record fell on the field side of the meet today. Preston Woodard of Prairie View broke the meet record by one centimeter with three jumps totaling 16.06m. Irish athlete Logan Renwick finished sixth in this event with a mark of 15.05m.