April 30, 2016

By Lizzie Mikes

DES MOINES, Iowa – The University of Notre Dame women’s track team has had a strong outdoor season in 2016, and showed crowds at Drake University exactly why they were top contenders heading into the ACC Outdoor Championship. No less than four different women’s relays lined up for the Irish at the annual Drake Relay meet, with the top finish coming from the 4×200 team that claimed second.

Margaret Bamgbose had a busy weekend in Des Moines, racing with three different sprint relays.

“Overall, we did very well,” Irish head coach Alan Turner said. “The athletes that competed this weekend should all score at the ACC Championships in two weeks. Margaret Bamgbose had a great meet, anchoring the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 relays. The weather conditions were horrible for sprinting, but she ran some of her fastest splits – 10.5 and 22.6 in the 4×100 and 4×200. She also ran 51.8 in the 4×400 prelims. Payton Miller also ran well, she ran a 53.6 for her 400m leg, the fastest she has covered 400m at Notre Dame. Several of the teams we faced at Drake (Texas, Purdue, Iowa, Ohio State, Baylor) are teams we will see again at the NCAA Championships.”

With no preliminary heat, the Notre Dame lineup of Kaila Barber, Parker English, Kyla Lewis and Bamgbose all contributed to the team’s runner-up time of 1:34.92. Those same four also ran on the 4x100m relay which finished sixth overall (45.90) after qualifying with a fifth-place time of 45.08 in the prelims.

In the 4x400m relay, English, Barber and Bamgbose teamed up with Miller in the prelims, crossing the finish line with the top mark of 3:33.17 to advance to the finals the next day. In the finals, Jordan Shead stepped in for Miller, helping the Irish finish fifth overall (3:37.40). Shead also ran individually in the 400m hurdles, where she finished in 60.98, good for 18th in the prelims.

Lewis clocked in at 12.21 in the 100m hurdles preliminaries, but didn’t advance to the finals. She did race with Miller, Shead and Allison Bartoszewicz in the 1600m sprint medley relay, a lineup that finished eighth overall (3:58.79) in the event.

In field events, Carly Loeffel finished 12th in the women’s high jump university division (1.68m) and Indi Jackson took eighth in the shot put competition with her throw of 15.10m. For the men, Anthony Shivers had the highest finish of any field athlete in the men’s discus throw, at 54.95m, and ACC Champion Matt Birzer came within .02m of tying his personal best in the high jump. Birzer cleared 2.08m, good for 12th in the event. Nick Hauser finished in eighth place in the men’s hammer throw, with a distance of 59.59m. Shivers also threw, and placed 12th overall (56.16m) in the event.

The Irish have one last regular season meet before the ACC Outdoor Championships at Florida State University, traveling to Bloomington, Indiana May 6 for the Billy Hayes Invitational. The ACC Championships run May 13-15, after which the Irish hope to have several contender racing at the NCAA East Regionals in Jacksonville, Florida May 26-28 for a chance to compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, the week of June 8.

For up-to-the-minute action, follow the team’s social media accounts on twitter (@NDXCTF) and Facebook (Notre Dame Cross Country/Track & Field).

— ND —

Lizzie Mikes serves as Media Services Coordinator at the University of Notre Dame. A 2013 graduate of Johnson & Wales University, she oversees credential management and is the athletic communications director for Fighting Irish men’s and women’s swimming and diving and track and field. She has assisted with numerous NCAA postseason events hosted by Notre Dame, and is heavily involved in the day-to-day tasks of the athletic communications office.