Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Men Win First Big East Title

Feb. 23, 2003

Syracuse, NY – The Notre Dame men’s track and field team won their first indoor Big East track and field championship Sunday. Notre Dame finished the day with 114 points, Connecticut finished in second-place in the meet with 101 points, followed by Georgetown (97) in third. Rutgers (72) and Villanova (65) rounded out the top five.

The team trailed Connecticut by five points at the start of Sunday’s action at the Big East Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Carrier Dome. Going into the 3,000 meters the Irish were still in second, five points behind then first-place Georgetown. After the 3,000, Notre Dame had opened up a big lead which they held on to through the final three events to capture their first ever indoor title.

In that 3,000 meter race, Villanova’s Adrian Blincoe pushed the pace early, trying to post a qualifying time for the NCAA championships. However, the field did not follow, as Notre Dame senior Luke Watson showed patience and experience and bided his time in second-place. Watson finished second in a time of 8:15.55, but more importantly he pulled teammates Tim Moore (8:16.83) and John Keane (8:17.58) to respective third and fourth-place finishes behind him. The two-three-four finish was good for 19 point and put the Irish into first for good.

Watson also aided the Notre Dame effort by winning the mile in a time of 4:12.85. It was Watson’s first indoor Big East title. Sophomore Selim Nurudeen missed a Big East win in the 60-meter hurdles by .03 seconds with a second-place finish in the event and a time of 7.97 seconds. Nurudeen also placed eighth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.00 seconds.

It was a good day for the Notre Dame relay teams as the 4×400-meter relay team posted a second-place finish (3:15.85), and the 4×800-meter relay team placed third in a time of 7:39.61.

Other Irish runners scoring in the meet were junior Kevin Somok in the 1,000 meters finishing in a time of 2:28.47. Chris Staron, a sophomore, tied for fourth in the high jump at 2.01 meters (6′ 7″). Staron was joined by sophomore Ryan Mineburg in the high jump, Mineburg tied for sixth, clearing a height of 1.96 meters (6′ 5″). Junior sprinter Ryan Hurd finished sixth in the 200-meter dash.

This was Notre Dame’s second-ever Big East track and field championship, the team won the outdoor title in 2000. The Irish finished third in the indoor meet a year ago. The Notre Dame track and field teams are back in action in two weeks at home, as they host the Alex Wilson Invitational on Friday March 7th, and Saturday March 8th.

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