June 9, 2016
by Tony Jones
EUGENE, Ore. – University of Notre Dame graduate student Kaila Barber and senior Margaret Bamgbose got off to fast starts during the first day of women’s semifinal races, finishing strong as key members of the 4×400-meter relay on Thursday at the 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Barber registered one of the top eight times in preliminary competition in the 400-meter hurdles, while Bamgbose advanced to the finals of the 400-meter dash with a top three finish to highlight Irish individual performers, and the 4×400 Irish relay entry also found its way into final round racing later this weekend at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.
Running in lane six of the third semifinal heat of Thursday’s 400m dash, Bamgbose crossed the finish line with a time of 51.69 to place second in the heat behind Taylor Ellis-Watson (51.55) of Arkansas. Bamgbose’s semifinal time was third overall among the preliminary field, advancing the Evanston, Illinois native to the 400m dash final scheduled for Saturday at 7:32 p.m. (ET).
Starting in the opening semifinal of the 400m hurdles, Barber posted a heat time of 56.31 to place second in the first prelim group just behind Harvard’s Autumne Franklin (56.09). Barber’s time held for seventh place in the field to gain the Middleburg Heights, Ohio native entry into the event final on Saturday at 7:57 p.m. (ET).
Barber kicked off the NCAA Championships for Notre Dame taking part in the 100m hurdles. Racing in the neck-and-neck third semifinal heat, Barber narrowly missed posting a finals qualifying time after crossing the finish line in 13.06 to place 10th in the prelim standings.
In Thursday’s final semifinal event, the 4x400m relay, the Notre Dame entry of Parker English, Barber, Jordan Shead and Bamgbose clocked in fourth in heat one with a time of 3:31.94. The time held up for sixth place in the semifinals after all three heats were complete, qualifying the Irish relay for the final eight set to take part in Saturday’s 8:51 p.m. (ET) final.
The fifth Notre Dame student-athlete entered in the 2016 NCAA Championships, Carly Loeffel, begins the heptathlon on Friday, opening a four-event day with the 100m hurdles at 3:30 p.m. (ET) at Hayward Field. Coverage of Friday’s heptathlon events will air live on ESPN3.
2016 NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships
W 100m Hurdles – Semifinal
10. Kaila Barber 13.06
W 400m Hurdles – Semifinal
7. Kaila Barber 56.31 (advances to Saturday’s NCAA final)
W 400m Dash – Semifinal
3. Margaret Bamgbose 51.69 (advances to Saturday’s NCAA final)
W 4x400m Relay – Semifinal
6. Notre Dame (Parker English, Kaila Barber, Jordan Shead, Margaret Bamgbose) 3:31.94 (advances to Saturday’s NCAA final)
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men’s soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.