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Irish Head To BIG EAST Championships This Weekend

Feb. 16, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – – The Notre Dame track and field team will head to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., for the BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field Championships, February 19-20. This will be the fifth year the Irish participate in the BIG EAST championships. The men have finished second the last three years, while the women placed a best-ever third place in 1999.

CANNON IV CLASSIC RECAP: All-American Jennifer Engelhardt (Battle Creek, Mich.) won her fourth straight high jump competition in as many tries by clearing 5-9 3/4. Senior Chris Cochran (Crystal Lake, Ill.), meanwhile, won the men’s 200 meter dash in a time of 21.30.

Three Notre Dame team members also logged top-five finishes with Matt Thompson (Granite Bay, Calif.) placing second in the weight throw (57-3 1/2), freshman Jamie Volkmer (Kearney, Neb.) taking third in the pole vault (10-11 3/4) and sophomore Josh Heck (Mishawaka, Ind.) finishing fifth in the pole vault (15-3).

Other Notre Dame student-athletes competing at the meet included sophomore Dore DeBartolo (Aurora, Ill.), who finished 10th in the shot put (43-5) and 11th in the 20-pound weight throw (49-2 1/4), sophomore Derek Dyer (Huntington, Ind.), who placed seventh in the shot put (48-10), and sophomore Quill Redwine (San Antonio, Texas), who was eighth in the triple jump (47-9 1/4).

BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW: The Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams are looking to improve on their second and third-place finishes at the 1999 BIG EAST Indoor meet with both teams hoping to be in position to contend for the team titles. So far this season, the men and women have combined to set four school records and have reached six NCAA provisional standards in 2000.

On the women’s side, freshman multi-event performer Jamie Volkmer has strengthened the team in the field events. She has set two new school records in the triple jump (39-3 1/4) and the pole vault (11-0). Classmate Tamiesha King (Mableton, Geo.) also has dented the record books by leaping 19-5 (school record) in the long jump in her first meet with the Irish. Sophomore Liz Grow (New Braunfels, Texas) owns the Irish top times in the 60, 200, and 400 meter sprint events. All-American high jumper Jennifer Engelhardt, a three-time BIG EAST indoor runner-up, will be looking for her fifth high jump title in as many tries this season.

Four student-athletes on the men’s team have already reached NCAA provisional marks this season. Senior Phil Mishka (Toledo, Ohio) and Marshaun West (Sikeston, Mo.), who was the 1999 BIG EAST Outdoor Most Outstanding Track Performer, have provisionally qualified in the 800 meters and long jump, respectively. Sophomore Luke Watson (Stillwater, Minn.), an all-BIG EAST performer in cross country, has been Notre Dame’s leader in the distance events with an NCAA provisional time of 8:09.50 in the 3,000 meters and a top team time of 4:06.75 in the mile. Senior Chris Cochran is the leader for the Irish in the sprint events, holding the top team times in the 60, 200, and 400 meters, all with career-best efforts.

The men’s distance medley team of Mishka, Watson, Cochran and senior Tim Kober (Gillette, N.J.) highlighted the team’s relay season thus far, turning in a NCAA provisional time of 9:43.78 at the Meyo Invitationa.

CATCH THE IRISH ON THE NET: Followers of the Notre Dame track and field team and BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field will be able to watch the BIG EAST Championships on the world wide web. The 2000 championship broadcast is being produced by through a joint venture with the BIG EAST. The championship will be the first in the world to feature two separate productions in parallel, permitting the viewer to select whether to watch track or field competition.

14 Key Irish Performers to Watch


Antonio Arce – (senior, mile/distance, Palmdale, Calif.) – 1999 All-American – mile (10th).

Chris Cochran – (senior, sprints, Crystal Lake, Ill.) – holds top conference and team times in the 60 (6.78), 200 (21.26*) and 400 (47.41*) meters, member of the school’s NCAA provisional distance medley relay team (9:43.78*), 1999 BIG EAST outdoor champion in the 400 meters, 1999 outdoor runner-up in the 200 meters.

Phil Mishka – (senior, middle distance, Toledo, Ohio) – ranked third nationally and first in the conference in the 800 meters with a career-best time of 1:48.57*, member of the team’s NCAA provisional distance medley, 2000 team co-captain.

Ryan Shay – (junior, distance, Central Lake, Mich.) – has yet to run in 2000, 1999 BIG EAST indoor champion in the 3,000 meters and runner-up in the 5,000 meters, 1999 All-American – outdoor 10,000 meters, 1999 BIG EAST cross country individual champion and U.S. Cross Country Coaches Association All-American.

Matt Thompson – (senior, throws, Granite Bay, Calif.) – team best in the weight throw (58-3 1/4), second-best in the shot put (49-7), Notre Dame school-record holder in the weight throw (58-3 1/4), fourth in the weight throw at the 1999 BIG EAST championships and fourth in the shot put at the 1998 conference meet.

Luke Watson – (sophomore, distance, Stillwater, Minn.) – has logged NCAA provisional times of 8:09.50* in the 3,000 meters (30th nationally) and as a member of the distance medley relay, top team time in the mile (4:06.75*), 1999 all-BIG EAST and all-region in cross country, 1999 U.S. Junior Cross Country Champion.

Marshaun West – (senior, sprints/long jump, Sikeston, Mo.) – currently ranked 13th nationally in the long jump with a leap of 25-4 1/2 at his only meet of the season back on January 21, 1999 BIG EAST 200-meter indoor and outdoor champion, indoor long jump runner-up, 1999 All-American – long jump (sixth), 1999 BIG EAST Outdoor Most Outstanding Track Performer, 2000 team co-captain.


Dore DeBartolo – (sophomore, throws, Aurora, Ill.) – Ranks in the top 10 in the BIG EAST in both the weight throw and the shot put, set a school-record in the weight throw earlier this season with a throw of 56-0 1/2, earned all-BIG EAST honors in the indoor shot put in 1999, all-BIG EAST honors with a runner-up finish in the discus in 1999.

Jennifer Engelhardt – (senior, high jumper, Battle Creek, Mich.) – cleared a season-best 5-10, which is an NCAA provisional mark, second-best in the BIG EAST and ranks 21st nationally, three-time BIG EAST runner-up in the indoor high jump, Two-time BIG EAST outdoor high jump champion (1998, 1999), Two-time indoor All-American (1997, 1999), first field event All-American in Notre Dame women’s track and field history, Notre Dame indoor and outdoor record-holder, team co-captain.

Liz Grow – (sophomore, sprints, New Braunfels, Texas) – 2000 NCAA provisional qualifier in the 400 meters (54.68), 1999 NCAA Indoor Participant – 400 meters Notre Dame record-holder in the 400 meters (54.89), breaking the previous of 55.31, 2000 top team times in the 60, 200 and 400 meters.

Jennifer Handley – (freshman, distance, Barrie, Ont.) – top team times in the mile (5:03.28) and the 3,000 meters (9:50.3), 1999 all-BIG EAST honoree in cross country.

Tamiesha King – (freshman, jumps/sprints, Mableton, Ga.) – holds Notre Dame school record in the long jump with a leap of 19-5, mark is fifth best in the BIG EAST, also has top team time in the 60-meter hurdles (8.79).

Alison Klemmer – (senior, distance, Troy, Mich.) – top team time in the 5,000 meters (17:14.88*), two-time All-American in the 10,000 meters, fifth in the 5,000 meters at the 1999 BIG EAST indoor meet, 1999 BIG EAST Champion – 10,000 meters,1999 all-BIG EAST and all-region performer for cross country.

Jamie Volkmer – (freshman, jumps, Kearney, Neb.) – set Notre Dame records in both the triple jump (39-3 1/4) and the pole vault (11-0), ranked in the top 10 in the BIG EAST in the long jump, triple jump and the pole vault.