May 24, 2002
The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams are busy preparing for next week’s NCAA Outdoor Championship in Baton Rouge, La. (May 29 – June 1) and both squads were well represented on the 2002 Verizon Academic All-District V track and field/cross country teams for their work both on and off the track and cross country courses.
Two-time 400-meter All-American Liz Grow represented the women’s track and field and cross country teams on the all-district list. Boasting a 3.55 GPA in English and computer applications, Grow had been a leader for the Irish sprint team over the last four seasons.
Grow played a key role in Notre Dame’s first BIG EAST Conference women’s team title at the indoor meet this season and took a step even further at the outdoor meet. She became the first Irish women’s competitor to earn the BIG EAST Most Outstanding Track Performer Award at the BIG EAST outdoor meet, winning the 400 meters in meet-record time and anchoring the victorious 4×100 relay team. Grow will exit the Notre Dame program at the end of the season with ownership of the 200 and 400 meter school records (both indoor and outdoor) and played a part in all of the 4×100 and 4×400 relay records. She is set to compete at next week’s NCAA outdoor meet in both relays and the 400 meters.
The men’s team landed three representatives on the District V team. Todd Mobley, Ryan Shay and Luke Watson have been the top performers for the cross country and track and field distance teams this season and also have excelled in the classroom.
Mobley played a large part in Notre Dame’s sixth-place team finish at the National Championships in cross country, finishing 38th overall to earn his first All-America honor. Boasting a 3.74 GPA in science and mathematics, Mobley just missed out on qualifying for the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Championship in the 10,000 meters.
Shay adds the academic all-district award to his ever-increasing pile of individual accolades. The fifth-year senior has earned All-America honors nine times in his career and is in position to for two more awards at next week’s national meet (Shay is among the top-six qualifiers in both the 10,000 and 5,000 meters). He also finished sixth overall at the NCAA cross country championship this season. Shay graduated last week with a degree in economics and computer applications, boasting a 3.21 GPA.
An accounting major with a 3.38 GPA, senior Luke Watson has enjoyed a stellar final year of competition at Notre Dame (though he could return for a fifth-year of eligibility in track and field next year). Watson led the cross country team throughout the entire 2001 season, helping the Irish capture the BIG EAST Championship and finish sixth in the country.
Returning to the track after missing the 2001 season with a knee injury, Watson has qualified for the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 5,000 meters at the NCAA outdoor meet next week. He was named the 2002 BIG EAST Conference Outdoor Outstanding Track Performer after winning the steeplechase and 5,000 meters at this season’s conference outdoor meet.
All four Irish honorees will now move on to the national ballot for possible selection as Verizon Academic All-Americans.