March 18, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. --- At last weekend’s Track and Field Indoor NCAA Championship, 12 Notre Dame athletes walked away from the competition as All-Americans. The honors went to three relay teams and three individual athletes, all of whom contributed to either the men’s 17th place finish or the women’s 29th.
Junior Chris Giesting and senior Patrick Feeney in particular collected several points for the Irish as they both placed in multiple events. Giesting placed fifth in the 400m dash (45.74) and contributed the eighth-place finish in the 4x400m relay (3:08.51). Feeney was also on the 4x400m relay team and ran alongside Giesting to finish in seventh in the 400m dash (46.19), but he also ran the second leg of the fourth-place men’s distance medley relay team (9:41.90).
“They’re not only good runners, but they’re workhorses,” explains head coach Joe Piane. “To put their 400m races in perspective, that puts both of them in the top half of a percent of all the quarter-milers in the United States. If you get into the finals, you are unbelievably good. There are countries that can’t produce kids who are as good as those two. They’re running against Olympians from other countries.”
The other individual athlete to be named an All-American was junior Jade Barber, who placed seventh in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.10.
“She did a wonderful job,” Piane says. “That’s two years in a row that she’s scored at the Indoor NCAAs, which is really quite amazing.”
Finally, the women’s distance medley team of seniors Alexa Aragon, Michelle Brown and Kelly Curran and sophomore Danielle Aragon brought home a third-place finish in 11:11.54.
“Alexa led off and did exactly what we asked her to. Michelle ran a very nice leg and Dani held her ground. And then Kelly moved them up one spot,” Piane adds. “As a team, they did a really nice job.”
Now, Piane says, the team has just a little time to rest before the start of outdoor season, as they will head to Austin, Texas for the Texas Relays next weekend.
4x400m Relay – 8th Place (3:08.51)
Distance Medley Relay – 4th Place (9:41.90)
Chris Giesting – 5th Place (45.74)
Patrick Feeney – 7th Place (46.19)
Jade Barber – 7th Place (8.10)
Distance Medley Relay – 3rd Place (11:11.54)
--Lauren Chval, Media Relations Assistant