Feb. 20, 2016
By Matthew D’Alonzo ’19
NOTRE DAME, Ind.- At the Alex Wilson Invitational, the last meet before the ACC Indoor Championships and the NCAA Indoor Championships, the University of Notre Dame track and field teams claimed Âtwo wins and ran two nationally-ranked performances.
“I’m very happy with the results today,” head coach Alan Turner said, “especially my men’s men’s distance medley relay. I didn’t expect a lot out of them today, we were basically running just to be in the fast heat of the ACC meet, but it looks like we may be on the verge of going to Nationals ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” which is something I didn’t even think about before today. The women’s relay, we knew they were going to run very very well, and we ran about 11-flat; which is right where I thought we would run. We could have run a little bit faster; Molly [Seidel] ran the anchor leg in the 1600m, and that’s like an all-out sprint for her, she doesn’t have quite the footspeed for that event but anything longer than that she’s lights out. She did what she needed to do, and we got the qualifying time for nationals.”
First came the distance medley relay, the most competitive event of the day. On the women’s side, Notre Dame’s relay team consisted of Danielle Aragon (1200m), who was second in last year’s ACC Indoor Championships in the mile and has returned from a season-ending injury last May; Margaret Bamgbose (400m), who was sixth last year in the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 400m; Jessica Harris (800m), seventh in the 800-meter run last year at the ACC Indoor Championships; and Molly Seidel (1600m), the NCAA reigning women’s cross country champion.
Aragon was able to run a strong second place behind Michigan’s entrant before she handed off to fellow senior Bamgbose. Bamgbose took the lead from Michigan, and made the relay into a two-team race. Sophomore Jessica Harris kept the lead before she handed off to Seidel, another senior. Seidel ran a strong leg of the race, but she ultimately fell to second behind Michigan. Notre Dame’s time of 11:00.73 currently places them No. 4 on the All-College Indoor Track List for the distance medley relay.
In the men’s distance medley relay, Notre Dame’s team consisted of four juniors, Jacob Dumford, Harvey Smith, Patrick O’Connell, and Christopher Marco. After a tough race, the Irish finished sixth with a time of 9:31.20, which currently puts them No. 11 on the All-College Indoor Track List for the distance medley relay.
“My 800 group ran very well today also,” Turner stated. “Jamie Marvel had a personal best. Kirk Hansen had a big personal record today, and those times are going to set them up well. Even within the DMR, Jess Harris had a 2:05 split, so she’s going to run well at ACCs next week too. I’m very happy, as a team today we had a dozen personal records set today ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” so we’re peaking at the right time in the season.”
Freshman Rachel DaDamio claimed fifth place in the women’s mile race with a personal best time of 4:50.06. Junior Nate Richartz won the men’s pole vault competition and posted a personal best jump of 5.32m.
In the women’s 60-meter hurdles finals, junior Emily Carson also ran a personal best time of 7.63, earning her second place. Following her was teammate and sophomore Allison Bartoszewicz, who took third (7.86). On the men’s side, junior Alex Groesch placed fourth (6.92).
Notre Dame alumnus and Alex Wilson Invitational record holder in the 400-meter dash Chris Giesting also raced in today’s men’s 400-meter race, running a time of 46.41 and claiming second place behind Mississippi State’s Alfred Larry, whose time of 46.13 is the No. 3 ranked 400m in the country. Giesting returned in the men’s 200-meter dash, winning the race overall with a time of 21.35.
“It speaks volumes about this place, that we have alums who come back and run so well,” Turner commented on Geisting and Rebecca Tracy’s performances. “Giesting is one of my volunteer assistants, along with Jade Barber and Pat Feeney. Having the alumni here and training, that speaks volumes to the kids on the team now, who say ‘wow, look at all these people running professionally. If they can do it, I can too.’ It just helps elevate our program all around.”
Another notable alumna, Tracy won the women’s mile race with a lifetime personal best of 4:32.71, and claimed fifth in the women’s 800 meters (2:05.66). Both marks were high points for the recent Irish grad, who also celebrated her birthday today.
“This is pretty much the best ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” I love coming home and running here,” Tracy said. “The last time I ran a PR was the Alex Wilson meet of my senior year, so it was really nice to come back and do it one more time. Days like this remind me it’s super fun to run. Coming back home to Notre Dame is always awesome, and it gets me excited. It makes me excited to train to come here, and then it carries over when I go back to Indianapolis and continue to train.”
Notre Dame had a strong showing on both sides of the weight throw. For the women, senior Lena Madison almost tied her season best performance with a throw of 17.78m, which earned her second place. For the men, junior Anthony Shivers won the weight throw with a throw of 20.07m. This shattered his previous personal best of 19.60m.
“I’ve talked about Shivers all season long; he finally got over 20 meters and broke our school record,” Turner commented on the field event entrants. “I gave him the performance of the meet ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” there’s a lot of them to choose from ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” but he’s the only one that actually broke a school record today. A lot of other meets here, other guys were throwing well and for whatever reason he couldn’t reach that mark, but today he got after it and broke the record so we’re where we need to be for next week. I’m excited.”
- Taylor Craft (8.93)
- Lena Madison (17.78m)
- Libby Schichtel (3.50m)
- Emily Carson (7.63)
Distance Medley Relay
- Notre Dame (11:00.73)
- Rachel DaDamio (4:50.06)
- Indi Jackson (14.57m)
- Mikaila Chamblee (1:02.27)
800-Meter Run (Alex Wilson)
- Jamie Marvil (2:08.62)
- Allison Bartoszewicz (25.06)
- Alexa Pelletier (9:35.02)
- Hunter Holton (2.00m)
- Conner Stapleton (8.70)
- Alex Groesch (6.92)
- Anthony Shivers (20.07m)
Distance Medley Relay
- Notre Dame (9:31.20)
- Kevin Pulliam (4:09.48)
- Nate Richartz (5.43m)
800-Meter Run (Alex Wilson)
- Kirk Hansen (1:50.98)
- Daniel Hardiman (14.89m)
- Joseph Suarez (8:38.43)
Matthew D’Alonzo is a freshman student assistant for Fighting Irish Media, working with Athletics Communications Directors for Cross Country, Track and Field, Basketball, and Tennis. A Computer Engineering/PLS Major, Matthew is from Mobile, Alabama.