March 7, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Senior Kurt Benninger (Chepstow, Ontario) ran a 3:58 anchor mile to lead Notre Dame to victory with a time of 9:35.33 in the men’s distance medley relay on Friday evening during the first day of the Alex Wilson Invitational inside the Loftus Sports Center. The time posted by the Fighting Irish currently ranks 11th for 2008 NCAA indoor season.
Joining Benninger on the relay unit was Blake Choplin (Kansas City, Mo.), Austin Wechter (Shelby, Ohio) and Adam Currie (Verdun, Quebec). Notre Dame edged out the Northern Iowa squad that went 9:35.73. Six of the seven teams entered in the men’s distance medley relay achieved NCAA provisional times.
Notre Dame junior Anna Weber (Indianapolis, Ind.) placed first in the women’s weight throw with a NCAA provisional toss of 19.23 meters, which is just under her top mark of the season of 19.39 meters.
During day one of the Alex Wilson Invitational, individuals or relay teams attained 21 NCAA provisional times or distances. Eleven of those marks would have placed in the top 16 nationally heading into the weekend.
Below is an event-by-event recap of the day’s action.
WOMEN’S 5000 METERS: The top-four finishers clocked NCAA provisional times that will put them in serious contention for next week’s NCAA championships. Virginia’s Emily Harrison led the way with a time of 16:16.53 followed by North Carolina’s Addie Bracy at 16:20.38. Allison Bishel from Ball State crossed the line at 16:21.66 to finish third, while UAB’s Elizabeth Ambrus was fourth at 16:24.85. Marissa Treece, Notre Dame’s lone entrant, placed seventh in a time of 16:59.61.
WOMEN’S DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY: Four of the five teams entered notched NCAA provisional times led by Illinois at 11:09.09. Wisconsin took second in a time of 11:09.84 followed by Kansas State (11:15.10) and Georgetown (11:17.45). The times by Illinois and Wisconsin rank sixth and ninth, respectively, in the nation.
WOMEN’S HIGH JUMP: Ashley Rhoades from Indianapolis along with Northern Iowa’s Rachel VanderHolt and Crystal Hanson all cleared the bar at 1.73 meters.
WOMEN’S LONG JUMP: Michigan’s Casey Taylor took first with a jump of 5.92 meters. Leah Kincaid from Purdue was second at 5.89 meters and rounding out the top three was North Dakota State’s Whitney Carlson at 5.84 meters.
WOMEN’S WEIGHT THROW: Anna Weber from Notre Dame and Khadija Talley from Miami (Fla.) both recorded NCAA provisional distances. Weber placed first with a toss of 19.23 meters and Talley went 19.12 meters.
MEN’S 5000 METERS: The top-four finishers all attained NCAA provisional times. Pacing the field was Texas A&M Corpus Christi’s Shadrack Songok, who clocked a winning time of 13:58.21. Emmanuel Bor from Alabama was second in 13:59.43 and North Carolina State’s Tibor Vegh took third in 14:03.92. Posting the other provisional time was Matt Clark from Clemson in 14:06.33. The top finisher for the Irish was Daniel Jackson, who placed 13th in 14:30.40. Paul Springer (15:03.28), Michael Popejoy (15:04.59) and Dan Curran (15:13.99) also competed for Notre Dame.
MEN’S DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY: Kurt Benninger took the baton with the Fighting Irish in fourth and blazed to a 3:58 anchor mile to give Notre Dame the victory in 9:35.33, a NCAA provisional mark. Also claiming NCAA provisional times were Northern Iowa (9:35.73), Virginia (9:41.75), Indiana (9:42.09) and Iowa State (9:45.39).
MEN’S POLE VAULT: Purdue’s Eric Sparks cleared 5.05 meters to take the victory. Paul Babits, who was unattached, and Mike Beese from Northern Iowa both cleared 4.90 meters.
MEN’S LONG JUMP: The top two distances were NCAA provisional marks. Alabama’s Tim Grier was first with a leap of 7.68 meters followed by Mississippi’s Wale Odetunde at 7.58 meters. Justin Schneider from Notre Dame finished ninth after going 6.65 meters.
MEN’S WEIGHT THROW: Dave Ebersole from Ohio State took first with a NCAA provisional distance of 20.75 meters. Finishing second was Southern Illinois’ Joe Mueller at 19.15. Notre Dame’s Greg Davis threw a mark of 16.74 meters, followed by his teammates Denes Veres at 14.65 and John Belcher at 13.60.
The second and final day of the Alex Wilson Invitational will get underway on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (ET) inside the Loftus Sports Center. A complete schedule and full results can be found at und.com.
— ND —