May. 1, 2005

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame track and field team wrapped up preparations for next weekend’s BIG EAST Outdoor Championships by competing in two meets this past weekend, the Drake Relays at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and the Hillsdale Gina Relays at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich.

The Irish posted several top performances over the span of the weekend, garnering five first-place finishes (all at the Hillsdale meet) and producing 23 season-best performances while qualifying several more athletes for the BIG EAST meet, to be held this Friday through Sunday at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J.

Drake Relays

The Irish sent a contingent of 10 athletes to compete in the prestigious Drake Relays and met with mixed results.

Notre Dame added two new qualifiers for the BIG EAST meet in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase as Jake Watson (7th place, 9:10.44) and Ryan Johnson (11th, 9:14.35) both surpassed the conference’s qualifying standard. In the 800, Adam Currie placed eighth in 1:52.36 while Selim Nurudeen was ninth in a special section of the 110-meter hurdles with a solid performance of 13.94. The Irish fielded a foursome of Eric Morrison, Brett Adams, Jake Watson and Todd Ptacek in the men’s 4×1,600-meter relay and placed third in 16:44.12.

The women’s team was represented at Drake by high jumpers Emily Loomis and Stacey Cowan. While neither matched their season-best performances both had solid outings against a strong field of competitors. Loomis placed sixth with a clearance of 1.70 meters (five feet, seven inches) and Cowan was 11th with a leap of 1.65m (5-5).

Hillsdale Gina Relays

Notre Dame’s contingent of 49 athletes racked up several impressive performances at Hillsdale, led by victories in five events including two meet records and 21 season-best efforts.

Leading the way were meet records in the women’s 1,500 meters and the women’s 4×100-meter relays. Kerry Meagher smashed the meet record in the 1,500 with a time of 4:27.01. While well off her 2005 best of 4:22.83 (set recently at the Mt. SAC Relays), Meagher’s effort served notice that the veteran is ready to make a strong showing in the event at the BIG EAST meet. Likewise, Notre Dame’s outing in the 4×100, in which the Irish crossed the tape at a season-best 46.01 seconds, also sent a message that the Irish could be a factor in the relay at the conference meet.

Notre Dame also picked up victories in the women’s 100 (Maryann Erigha in 11.64 seconds), the women’s 400 (Okechi Ogbuokiri in 54.74) and the men’s javelin (Derek Goguen with a toss of 58.49 meters/191 feet, 11 inches).

The Irish figure to show impressive depth at the BIG EAST meet next weekend after adding to their deep list of qualifiers. Below is a list of athletes who produced conference qualifying marks and/or season-best outings at the Hillsdale Gina Relays.Athlete Event   PerformanceMaryann Erigha    women's 100 11.64*Brienne Davis  women's 100 12.01*#Okechi Ogbuokiri    women's 400 54.74*Crysta Swayzer    women's 400 56.58*#Kerry Meagher  women's 1,500   4:27.01*#Jean Marinangeli    women's 5,000   17:12.73*#Maggie Nelsen  women's 5,000   17:53.48#Domenique Manning  women's 100 hurdles 14.38*Julie Opet  women's 3k steeplechase 11:10.74*#Elizabeth Phillipp  women's 3k steeplechase 11:23.89*#Meghan Horn  women's shot put    14.35m*#Meghan Horn  women's discus  45.64m*#Amber Jackson  women's discus  39.60m*#Meghan Horn  women's hammer throw    47.89m*#Kate Duman    women's javelin 39.76m*Tommie Lee    men's 100   11.07*#Ryan Regula men's 100   11.23#Ryan Regula men's 200   23.41#Tom Longo   men's 5,000 14:37.44*#Michael Manning men's 5,000 14:56.32*#Jose Genao    men's 110 hurdles   14.92 *#Austin Wechter    men's 400 hurdles   55.01*#Mike Schubert   men's shot put  14.13m*Garet Koxlein   men's discus    45.20m*Chip Roberts    men's discus    44.85m*#Kyle Annen    men's discus    43.41m*#Kyle Annen    men's hammer throw  55.94m*#Chip Roberts    men's hammer throw  54.05m*Garet Koxlein   men's hammer throw  49.68m*Kevin Moffitt  men's hammer throw  45.44m*#Derek Goguen    men's javelin   58.49m*
*indicates BIG EAST qualifying mark#indicates season-best performance