Feb. 22, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame’s senior track and field athletes took to the Meyo Track for the last home meet of their college careers today for the Alex Wilson Invitational. The meet, named for the former Irish track star, 1931 national champion in the outdoor 400m run and long-time Notre Dame head track and field coach, was highlighted by seven Irish victories.
“Having a chance for all of our friends and family to be here, I think this last meet here has been worth it,” senior Michelle Brown says of her and her fellow seniors’ final indoor competition at Notre Dame. “Everyone has been taking it well, it is just kind of bittersweet.”
While difficult at times for those preparing to leave, the final home meet of the year provided fans with plenty to cheer for. Senior Kelly Curran, Brown and the sister duo of sophomore Danielle and senior Alexa Aragon, a team consisting of four All-Americans, cruised to an easy win in the distance medley with a time of 11:05.07, a performance that ranks tenth best in the nation so far this season. Junior Chris Giesting provided some fireworks near the end of the day, blazing his way to a 400m dash victory in 45.89 seconds, setting a new school record in the process.
“It is an outstanding performance and it moves him up in the NCAA rankings,” head coach Joe Piane says of Giesting’s performance. “It means that he has a chance to do even better at the ACC Championship and score at the National Championship.”
The team will next be travelling to Clemson, S.C. for the team’s first ever attempt at the ACC Championships starting on Feb. 27.
“We have a lot of depth this year, and hopefully we can pull it together and just make those times and make those marks so that we can become ACC Champions,” says senior sprinter Aijah Urssery.
Distance Medley: Running in the second heat, the Notre Dame squad of graduate student Jeremy Rae, senior Patrick Feeney, freshman Jacob Dumford and graduate student Nick Happe secured a third place finish, six hundredths of a second behind second place Arkansas, with a time of 9:29.43. This sub 9:30 time puts the medley team in great position to qualify for the NCAA Championship in March.
Weight Throw: Junior Dominick Podovano threw 18.58m to claim a third place finish in the event.
60m Hurdles: Senior Jarrod Buchanon qualified for the finals, finishing sixth and coming in at 8.08 seconds.
Pole Vault: Freshman Nate Richartz and junior David Schipper took the first and second place positions respectively. Richartz cleared the bar at 4.75m and Schipper managed an impressive 4.60m.
Mile: Graduate Student J.P. Malette finished third overall and first among all collegiate athletes with a time of 4:00.17, trailing only De’Sean Turner of Team Indiana Elite and Andrew Poore of Adidas.
400m Dash: Junior Chris Giesting powered through some fierce competition to win the event and set a new Notre Dame record. Giesting’s time of 45.89 moves him to fifth in the nation so far this year.
800m: In an event featuring 23 participants, Senior Jack Favorite set a new personal best, finishing seventh with a time of 1:51.37.
200m Dash: Junior Nick Dunn also managed to claim a new personal record, finishing fifth in 22.33 seconds.
3000m: Senior Walter Schafer finished the event in 8:26.50, less than half a second behind Bradley’s Chase Coffey. Shafer’s performance was enough to earn him fifth. place
4×400 relay: In the last race of the day, the Notre Dame team consisting of Giesting, Buchanon, Feeney and freshman Harvey Smith fought hard to compete with the fierce ACC competition, Florida State and North Carolina. A late surge by Feeney, the team’s final leg runner, pulled the Irish into third place and a 3:07.58 finish.
Pole Vault: Notre Dame claimed the top three spots on the day. Sophomores Allie Sullivan and Libby Schichtel tied for second place, clearing the bar set at 3.45m. Senior Kelly Burke secured the victory for the Irish, extending over the 3.60m mark.
Distance Medley: The team of Curran, Brown and both Aragon sisters stole the show, finishing first in the meet with a time of 11:05.07 and securing the tenth best time in the nation so far this year.
Weight Throw: Senior Vivien Devaney (19.60m) took first in the event, out throwing the rest of the field by more than half a meter.
Mile: Freshman Taylor Driscoll and sophomore Sydni Meunier (4:54.34) were the top two collegiate runners on the day, with Driscoll winning the event outright in 4:51.38. Junior Karen Lesiewicz (4:59.87) also finished in the top-five of collegiate competition.
60m Dash: Senior Aijah Urssery led the Irish, finishing fifth overall with a time of 7.59.
High Jump: Junior Fiona Paladino (1.60m) and freshman Laura Wendelberger (1.55m) finished third and fourth respectively.
400m Dash: Sophomore Margaret Bamgbose (53.40) ran just shy of her personal best to earn the victory for the Irish.
Shot Put: Junior Emily Morris (15.35m) capped off the throwing events with a third place finish.
3000m: Sophomore Molly Seidel ran her way into fourth place, finishing the race in 9:31.78.
–Ben Brockman ’16, Media Relations Student Worker