March 17, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame’s men’s and women’s track and field teams completed another successful indoor track and field season as they wrapped up the season at the 1999 NCAA Indoor Track and Field championships on March 5-6.
Five members of the Notre Dame track team were named All-Americans by the United States Track Coaches Association, based on their performances in the 1999 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. First-time honorees included junior JoAnna Deeter (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), senior Mike Brown (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), senior Antonio Arce (Palmdale, Calif.) and junior Marshaun West (Sikeston, Mo.), while junior Jennifer Engelhardt (Battle Creek, Mich.) became the first Irish women’s track and field athlete to earn All-America honors twice.
Engelhardt finished 12th this year with a leap of 5-8, while she finished ninth as a freshman with a jump of 5-8 1/2. Deeter also made history as she became the first Notre Dame women’s athlete ever to earn both cross country and track and field All-America honors. Deeter’s sixth-place time of 16:10.16 in the 5,000 meters destroyed the Notre Dame record of 16:22.64, which she set earlier this year at the BIG EAST Championships. Brown, a three-time BIG EAST champion in the pole vault and competing in his first NCAA Championships, tied for sixth place in the pole vault with his Notre Dame record vault of 17-10 1/2. Brown’s vault broke the record of 17-6 1/2 he had set just the weekend before at the Alex Wilson Invitational. Arce placed 10th in the mile with his time of 4:13.32 after running 4:04.14 in his heat, and West finished sixth in the long jump with a leap of 24-10. Freshman Liz Grow (New Braunfels, Tex.) also competed in the championships, finishing 17th (56.85) but failing to qualify for the finals in the 400 meters as she ran to a time of 56.85.
The five indoor All-Americans are the most by the Irish since 1997, when seven Notre Dame athletes earned that honor indoors — Jeff Hojnacki, Danny Payton, Jason Rexing and Derek Seiling in the distance medley relay (eighth place), Allen Rossum in the 55 meters (seventh), Dominque Calloway in the 55-meter hurdles (11th) and Engelhardt in the high jump.
Look out Below: Records fell this year as Notre Dame’s track and field teams enjoyed one of the best indoor seasons in recent memory. The women’s team earned their highest ever finish at the BIG EAST Championships and even led after the first day of the competition as they placed third, just 19 points behind first-place Pittsburgh. Besides Deeter’s record in the 5,000 meters, the women’s teams also set or tied five other Notre Dame records this season. This year’s crop of freshmen led the way as they set three of the six records. Freshman Dore DeBartolo’s (Aurora, Ill.) toss of 54-8 3/4 in the 20 lb. weight throw demolished the old record, and her classmate Natalie Hallett (Huntington Beach, Calif.) currently shares the Notre Dame pole vault record of 10-6 with sophomore Bethany Wilson (San Rafael, Calif.). Liz Grow was most successful of the freshmen this year as she set the Notre Dame record in the 400 meters with her time of 54.05 at the Alex Wilson Invitational and became just the third Irish freshman to compete at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Junior Patti Rice’s (Mishawaka, Ind.) mile time of 4:52.51 at the BIG EAST Championships broke Amy Siegel’s record of 4:55.32 set in 1995, and Jennifer Engelhardt tied her Notre Dame record high jump of 5-10 3/4 at the BIG EAST Championships.
The men’s team also had their share of successes as they earned their third consecutive second-place finish at the BIG EAST Championships. The Irish finished with 101 points to finish a distant second to first-place Georgetown. In addition to Brown’s pole vault record, the Irish broke two other Notre Dame records. Junior Matt Thompson (Granite Bay, Calif.) set a Notre Dame record in the 35-pound weight throw with his toss of 58-3 1/4 at the BIG EAST Championships. All-American Marshaun West broke James Patterson’s record of 25-5 set back in 1985 with his leap of 25-6 3/4 at the Red Simmons Invitational. West also became the first Irish long jumper to jump over 25 feet twice in his career.
Next Up: The Irish begin the outdoor season on March 26-27 at the Purdue Invitational. The first and only home meet this season will be a quad-meet on April 3, 1999 versus Butler, Miami (OH) and Western Michigan.