Jan. 14, 2007
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Senior Cassie Gullickson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Brentwood (Tenn.)) was a double winner in the horizontal jumps and sophomore Anna Weber (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) set two new personal bests in the throwing events, including the school’s No. 2 all-time mark in the weight throw, as a handful of Notre Dame indoor track & field team members opened the new year Saturday afternoon at the non-scored Purdue Invitational, held at Lambert Fieldhouse in West Lafayette, Ind.
Gullickson collected victories in the high jump (1.63m/5-4 1/4) and triple jump (11.46m/37-7.25), with the latter mark matching the season-best distance she set at the Blue & Gold Invitational back on Dec. 1. Gullickson already has qualified for the BIG EAST Indoor Championship in both events. Meanwhile, Weber finished second in the weight throw with a personal-best heave of 16.83 meters (55-2 3/4) that not only qualified her for the BIG EAST meet, but also was second in the Notre Dame record books behind only Dore DeBartolo’s mark of 17.08 meters (56-0.5) at the 2000 Meyo Invitational. Weber added a third-place showing in the shot put at the Purdue Invitational, topping out with a personal-best 13.86-meter toss (45-5 3/4) to lengthen her BIG EAST qualifying mark in that event.
Sophomore Mary Saxer (Lancaster, N.Y./Central) was the other individual winner for Notre Dame during the weekend, claiming the pole vault title with a season-best leap of 3.80 meters (12-5.5) that extended her BIG EAST qualifier. Freshman Michelle Ripple (Littleton, Colo./Arapahoe) placed fourth with a personal-best mark of 3.35 meters (10-11.75) that just missed the BIG EAST minimum (3.40m).
On the men’s side, freshman pole vaulter Jim Merchun (Carmel, Ind./Cathedral) earned a spot in the BIG EAST Championship with a season-best height of 4.45 meters (14-7.25) that was good for a seventh-place finish at Purdue. Two other Irish athletes — sophomore Brian Mahon (Granger, Ind./Clay) and freshman Matt Schipper (Leo, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) — came close to meeting the BIG EAST standard (4.35m), as both cleared 4.30 meters (14-1.25) on Saturday.
Senior Christopher Jacques (Old Brookville, N.Y./Chaminade) finished second in the long jump at 7.03 meters (23-0.25) and fourth in the high jump at 1.91 meters (6-3.25). Senior Garet Koxlien (Galesville, Wis./Galesville-Ettrick-Trempelau) took third in the weight throw with a toss of 16.64 meters (54-7.25), while freshman Eric Quick (Bakersfield, Calif./Liberty) was third in the long jump with a season-best mark of 6.62 meters (21-8.75). All three men already have qualified for the BIG EAST meet in their respective events, with Quick adding a second qualification in the triple jump at last month’s Blue & Gold Invitational.
Notre Dame will kick off the 2007 indoor track & field season in earnest on Friday when it plays host to the Notre Dame Indoor Opener at the Loftus Sports Center. The field events will begin at 5:30 p.m. (ET) with the men’s long jump, while the running competition will start at 7 p.m. (ET) with the women’s 60-meter dash. Admission to all Irish home track & field meets is free to the general public.
— ND —