Feb. 1, 2002
The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams began competition in the 2002 Meyo Invitational on Friday evening in the Loftus Sports Center. The meet, which does not feature team scoring, will continue on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
There were just a few events competed on Friday evening, but in almost every race or event, an Irish athlete flirted with, or achieved, an NCAA qualifying time. The meet started with the 5,000 meters, and NCAA Champions Ryan Shay and David Kimani (Alabama) put on quite a show.
Kimani and Shay traded the lead several times during the 15 lap race, but Kimani kicked forward to a 300-meter lead on the bell lap. Shay had a kick left in him, though, and rushed forward to almost catch Kimani at the finish line. The final electronic times read 13:46.50 for Kimani and 13:46.80 for Shay, both well under the NCAA automatic qualifying time.
Shay’s effort eclipsed his own school record of 13:52.66, set last season. Kimani just missed the Meyo Track record, but broke the Meyo Invitational mark of 13:51.62 set last season by Kyle Baker of the Indiana Invaders.
The record breaking efforts continued in the women’s long jump. Junior Tameisha King broke out to jump 20-7, besting her own school record and providing her a provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA Championship.
On the pole vault runway, junior Jamie Volkmer also broke out to clear 11-7 3/4, to win the event and flirt with the NCAA qualifying 12-5 3/4 height. Volkmer performed three solid efforts at clearing the NCAA height and clearly has the ability to reach that mark later in the indoor season.
The women’s distance medley relay team of Jennifer Handley, Lauren King, Megan Johnson and Kristen Dodd, running together for the first time this season, just missed an NCAA qualifying time (11:40.20) with a 11:41.15 effort. Similar to Volkmer in the pole vault, the team showed it has the ability to reach the NCAA time this season.
Tom Gilbert rounded out the top finishers for the Irish on the evening, jumping 22-8 3/4 to finish second behind Julien Williams from Michigan State.
Competition continues on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 10:30 a.m.