Feb. 9, 2018
By Matt Paras
The Notre Dame track & field team split up this weekend to compete in the Iowa State Classic and SPIRE D-1 Invitational. The Irish looked to improve their times on day one to prepare for the ACC Championships, which are just under two weeks away.
Iowa State Classic
Tyler Keslin started the Irish off in Ames Friday night, competing in the first heat of the men’s 3000m run. Keslin finished 14th overall and set a personal record with a time of 8:09.93. He beat his previous mark by over seven seconds.
Yared Nuguse ran in the second heat and used a strong second half of the race to finish in the top-five with a personal record time of 8:04.67. Nuguse was in 13th place at the halfway mark but kicked on the jets over the final 1500 meters to finish fourth overall.
SPIRE D-1 Invitational
Senior Jordan Shead led a group of six Irish runners in the 200m dash. She finished third overall with a personal-best time of 24.35. Naya Sharp (9th) and Kyla Lewis (11th) rounded out the top-15 on the women’s side.
Fellow senior Kaitlin Frei followed Shead’s lead and also set a PR in her event. Frei ran in the longest race of the night, the 5000m run, and finished eighth overall with a time of 17:12.59.
Logan Kusky and Shae Watkins both had a good showing in the weight throw. Kusky tallied another top-five finish with his throw of 18.26m (59-11.00). Watkins set a personal best in the event (16.12m, 52-10.75) and finished 10th.
Freshman Rachel Tanczos did well representing the women in the weight throw. Her best throw of the meet went 17.85m (58-6.75) and she finished seventh overall.
Sophomore Kassadee Ifft turned in a top-five finish for the second straight week in the pole vault. She finished in a tie for fifth after clearing 3.67m (12-00.50). Last week, she placed fourth overall and set a personal record after clearing 3.87m (12-08.50). McKenna Caskey also finished in the top-five for the Irish, tying Ifft for fifth place.
Sophomore Carter Sorenson represented the Irish in the men’s heptathlon. After the first day, Sorenson sits in fourth with 2599 points. He had the second-best mark in the shot put with 11.97m (39-03.25).
Day two of both meets will start back up again tomorrow morning. The first event of the SPIRE D-1 Invitational begins at 10 a.m. ET. The Iowa State Classic is slated to start at noon ET.
Matt Paras, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since January 2018. In his role, he coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse and cross country/track & field programs. A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, Paras is a graduate of the University of Louisville where he completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sport Administration. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, he worked at Vanderbilt University as the sports information contact for the women’s soccer and lacrosse programs.