Jake Walker set an NCAA provisional qualifying mark Friday in the men's 5,000 meters.

Irish Pile Up BIG EAST Qualifiers At Notre Dame Indoor Opener

Jan. 20, 2007

Complete Results

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Senior Ryan Postel (Lexington, Ky./Catholic) registered wins in both the 200- and 400-meter dashes, highlighting a solid all-around effort by the Notre Dame track & field teams at the 2007 Notre Dame Indoor Opener, which was held Friday night at the Loftus Sports Center. Postel took the 200 in 21.77 seconds to qualify for next month’s BIG EAST Conference Championship, while his 400-meter time of 47.56 was not only a season-best, but also matched the fifth-quickest time in school history (ironically, also set by Postel at last year’s Meyo Invitational). Collectively, the Irish men’s and women’s squads earned 15 event victories and added 15 new qualifiers for the conference meet during Friday’s competition.

Among the more notable performers on the evening was senior high jumper Cassie Gullickson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Brentwood (Tenn.)), who cleared a personal-best 1.76 meters (5-9.25) in winning the event for the third time in as many meets this season. In addition, senior Amy Kohlmeier (Sarnia, Ontario/St. Patrick’s) led a crew of five Irish runners across the line in winning the mile with a personal-best time of 4:55.66. Freshman Lindsey Ferguson (Greenfield Center, N.Y./Saratoga Springs) was second in 5:03.13 to lower her conference qualifier, while sophomore Heidi Rocha (Palmdale, Calif./Paraclete) added her name to the league’s qualifying list with a third-place showing in 5:03.64.

Other Notre Dame women who qualified for the BIG EAST Championship during Friday’s meet included: freshman Joanna Schultz (Holmen, Wis./Holmen) in the 200 meters (25.24), junior Crysta Swayzer (Houston, Texas/Westbury Senior) in the 400 meters (57.13), senior Okechi Ogbuokiri (Willingboro, N.J./Willingboro) in the 500 meters (personal-best 1:13.66) and sophomore Lauren Biscardi (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham Wading River) in the high jump (1.68m/5-6).

Freshman Balazs Molnar (Dunaujvaros, Hungary/Szechenyi Istvan) turned in one of the stronger outings by a Notre Dame male on Friday night, winning the 500 meters in a BIG EAST-qualifying mark of 1:03.55, the quickest time for any Irish runner this season and just off the school’s all-time Top 10 list. Sophomore pole vaulter Tray Morgan (Daphne, Ala./McGill-Toolen Catholic) also earned his way to the conference championship, clearing a personal-best 4.50 meters (14-9) to equal senior Dave Viken (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows), who reached a season-best height.

Other Notre Dame men who met BIG EAST Championship minimums at the Notre Dame Indoor Opener included: sophomore Billy Buzaid (Verona, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) in the 400 meters (49.81), junior Austin Wechter (Shelby, Ohio/Shelby) in the 400 meters (49.84), senior Jordan Powell (Springfield, Ill./Calvary Academy) in the 500 meters (personal-best 1:04.26), senior Todd Ptacek (Benton Harbor, Mich./Lake Michigan Catholic) in the 800 meters (1:55.11), freshman Jake Walker (Ellwood City, Pa./Lincoln) in the mile (4:16.96) and freshman Matt Schipper (Leo, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) in the pole vault (4.35m/14-3.25).

The Irish will return to competition next Friday, Jan. 26 when they play host to the Notre Dame Invitational at the Loftus Sports Center. The field events tentatively will begin at 5:30 p.m. (ET) , while the running events will start at 7 p.m. (ET). Admission to all Irish home track & field meets is free to the general public.

— ND —