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Irish Open Weekend At North Florida Invitational

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Seven gold medals adorned the Notre Dame track and field team Friday evening at the North Florida Invitational as the Irish swept the javelin and hammer throw and finished the day with six field event first place finishes as well as the top spot in the men’s 1500m run.

Starting off the day for the Irish, Rachel Tanczos claimed the first top finish of the day as she won the hammer throw with a distance of 59.02m. Logan Kusky won the men’s hammer throw competition, moving him to second all-time in the event with a personal best throw of 63.92m to lead the competition through all six rounds.

Also in the field, Austin Parsons and Gabrielle Diederich combined to sweep the javelin competition as Parsons recorded a best 59.16m on his fourth attempt while Diederich earned a 44.69m throw for the top finish. 

Recording a throw of 14.84m on her fifth time through, Abbey Kapitan won the women’s shot put competition, recording the three best throws of the afternoon.

Shae Watkins rounded out the field event winners when he took first in the men’s discus. On his second attempt, he threw for 50.63m which ultimately led to the best throw of the day.

In his outdoor debut, Matthew Vietzen won gold in the 1500m run as he crossed the finish in 4:01.76.

Jernaya Sharp leapt to a second place finish in the long jump with a second attempt of 5.89m. 

In the men’s shot put, John Stefan earned silver overall with a throw of 16.84m while his teammates John Watkins (16.29m) and Grayson Zinn (15.07m) finished fourth and sixth, respectively. 

Following up her first place finish earlier in the day, Tanczos took second in the women’s discus with a third round throw of 52.13m and led through four rounds of competition.

McKenna Caskey earned bronze in the pole vault event, recording a height of 3.35m while Connor Artman and Antonio Villegas finished 0.05m apart in the men’s long jump to finish out the field events. Artman finished in third place overall with a jump of 6.89m and Villegas took fourth in 6.84m.

On the track, the Irish women opened racing with the 100m hurdles. Summer Thorpe took the charge in that event, finishing second in 13.46 seconds followed closely by Jernaya Sharp (13.73). Madysen Hunter and Grace Cronin also competed, crossing the finish just one-hundreths of a second later as Hunter finished 10th in 14.39 seconds and Cronin crossed in 14.43 seconds for 11th overall.

Cronin followed up her high hurdle performance with a second place finish in the 400m hurdles, touching the finish in 1:01.37. 

Up Next
Notre Dame is back in action tomorrow as four members of the women’s team will compete at the Spartan Invitational in East Lansing, Michigan. Their first race is scheduled to start just after noon.