Feb. 25, 2016
By Molly Jergenson
BOSTON, Mass. -The Notre Dame men’s and women’s track teams opened the 2016 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday at the Reggie Lewis Center by scoring in the men’s weight throw, the women’s pentathlon and in both distance medley relays.
In the women’s pentathlon, graduate student Carly Loeffel finished in fourth place to contribute five points to the women’s team score. She started the day by competing in the 60 hurdles, running 8.91 for eighth place, just short of her personal best for the event. In the high jump, Loeffel finished second, tying the personal best she set two weeks ago at SPIRE with a jump of 5’8.5″ (1.74m). In the third event, Loeffel’s shot put of 13.34m (43’9.25″) was the best in the field, bumping her into the lead heading into the long jump. Loeffel’s 5.5m (18’0.5″) jump was her weakest event of the day, resulting in a drop in the overall score. To end the day, her 800m run of 2:24.21 was her best time of the year, but not enough to finish at the top of the field.
Loeffel will be back in action on Friday and Saturday to compete in the open high jump and the shot put.
On the men’s side, senior Brent Swanberg finished the first day of the heptathlon in fifth. He began the day with a strong showing in the 60m dash, running 7.43 for his fastest time in the event to date. In the long jump, Swanberg’s jump of 21’11” (6.68m) helped him to seventh in the event. He also threw 13.06m (42’10.25″) for sixth in the shot put. In his final and best event of the day, Swanberg jumped a personal record of 2.01m (6’7″) and finished first in the field for the high jump.
The final day of the heptathlon will begin tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., when Swanberg will compete in the 60 hurdles, pole vault, and 1000m.
In the men’s weight throw, junior Anthony Shivers started the meet by placing seventh and scoring two points for the team. His final throw of 20.07m (65’10.25″) tied his personal best and school record from last week’s Alex Wilson Invitational.
Also in the weight throw, senior Nick Hauser battled through an injury to throw 17.61m (57’9.5″) as he finished 11th.
In the women’s weight throw, Lena Madison threw 17.16m (56’3.75″) to finish 14th.
In one of the final events of the day, the women’s Distance Medley Relay team put significant points on the board for the Irish. Sophomore Jessica Harris began the race with the 1200, handing off in the lead to sophomore Jordan Shead in the 400. The Clemson and Florida State teams were neck-and-neck with Shead coming into the handoff for the 800, but Florida State and Clemson then pulled away. Sophomore Sam Murray to ran a strong third leg and she handed off to senior Danielle Aragon. Aragon maintained her position, bringing the Irish home to take third in the race in 11:19.56, and scoring six team points.
Junior Chris Marco led the men’s DMR team off with the 1200 leg, handing off to junior Harvey Smith in eighth place. Smith fought to improve team positioning through the 400 and passed the baton to junior Pat O’Connell in the midst of three other teams.
O’Connell handed off to junior Jake Dumford while in eighth place. Dumford’s mile kept the men in eighth to score one point towards the team score.
“Carly Loeffel finished with a personal record in the Heptathlon and Anthony Shivers finished seventh, tying his school record, in an incredibly difficult conference for the weight throw,” Head Coach Alan Turner said after the first day of action.
“[The women’s DMR team] ran relatively well,” Turner added. “We were hoping for a few more points, but they competed strongly. We would have liked to see a better performance in the men’s DMR after that team ran such a strong race at Alex Wilson last week. We’re looking forward to coming back to the track for day two.”
The 2016 ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships continue tomorrow (Feb. 26), beginning with the men’s high jump final at noon followed by the women’s long jump final at 1:00 p.m. The day’s running events are slated to begin at 2:00 p.m.
— ND —
Molly Jergenson serves as the Director of Operations for the Track & Field and Cross Country teams at the University of Notre Dame