April 30, 1999

Notre Dame, Ind. – In preparation for the BIG EAST outdoor track and field championships this weekend at Villanova University, Notre Dame’s track and field squads traveled to the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, and the Boilermaker Open in West Lafayette, Ind., April 24-25. Senior Nadia Schmiedt (London, Ont.) picked up the lone victory for the Irish at the Drake Relays as she ran to an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 59.00 in the 400-meter hurdles. Schmiedt also won her preliminary heat with a time of 1:01.14. At the Boilermaker Open, the Irish captured eight first-place finishes on the weekend, highlighted by freshman phenom Liz Grow’s (New Braunfels, Texas) victories in the 100 and 200 meters. Grow’s time of 11.82 in the 100 meters was the third-fastest in Notre Dame history, and her time of 23.77 was the fourth-fastest in Notre Dame history.

BIG EAST Championships Preview: Notre Dame’s track and field squads will send their top performers to the BIG EAST outdoor track and field championships May 1-2 in Villanova, Pa.

The women’s squad should be capable of improving upon last year’s 12th-place finish. Junior All-American JoAnna Deeter (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) is poised to improve on her stellar performance at this year’s BIG EAST Indoor championships where she picked up a first-place finish in the 5,000 meters and a second-place finish in the 3,000 meters. Deeter’s automatic qualifying and school-record times of 16:04.41 in the 5,000 meters and 33.28.01 in the 10,000 meters are the top times in the BIG EAST this year. Even more impressive than Deeter’s BIG EAST rankings is that she is ranked second nationally in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Deeter’s 3,000 meter time of 9:35.41 is the second fastest in the BIG EAST as well. Her fellow classmate Alison Klemmer (Troy, Mich.) also has automatically qualified for the NCAA championships in the 10,000 meters with her time of 34:19..19, which places her second behind Deeter in the BIG EAST standings. Junior Nicole LaSelle (Dayton, Ohio) should also pick up some points for the Irish as she has the fourth-fastest time in the BIG EAST in the 10,000 meters. Junior All-American Jennifer Engelhardt (Battle Creek, Mich.) will look to repeat as BIG EAST champion in the high jump as she currently leads the BIG EAST with a 6-0 3/4 mark. Freshman Liz Grow should give the Irish scoring potential in the 200 and 400 meter dashes. Grow took second in the 400 meters at the BIG EAST Indoor Championships and participated at the NCAAs.

Notre Dame’s men’s squad will look to its distance corps as it attempts to improve on last year’s third-place finish. Sophomore Ryan Shay (Central, Lake, Mich.) has automatically qualified for the NCAA championships in the 10,000 meters with a time of 29:01.59, which is the top time in the BIG EAST this year and is two minutes faster than the second-place time in the BIG EAST standings. Shay’s time in the 10,000 meters is also the 12th-fastest in the nation this year. Senior All-American Antonio Arce (Palmdale, Calif.) will look to pick up his first BIG EAST individual championship as he is the BIG EAST leader in both the 1,500 meters (3:47.23) and the 5,000 meters (13:55.98). School record holder Mike Brown (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif) is an NCAA provisional qualifier in the pole vault with his mark of 17-5 1/2 and is gunning for his second BIG EAST outdoor pole vault crown.

Drake Relays Recap: In addition to Schmiedt’s victory, the Irish turned in some solid performances at the Drake Relays. Senior Chris Cochran (Crystal Lake, Ill.) placed fourth in the special 400-meter dash finals with his time of 47.82 and junior Jennifer Englehardt finished seventh in the high jump with a mark of 5-7. Freshman Dore DeBartolo (Aurora, Ill.) placed 12th in the hammer throw with a mark of 159-10 and 20th in the discus with a toss of 129-1, while senior Jay Hofner (Wheaton, Ill.) finished 19th in the hammer throw with a toss of 171-6.

Boilermaker Open Recap: The Irish ran well as they captured a multitude of first-place finishes. Senior Kelle Saxen (Toledo, Ohio) was first in the high jump with a mark of 5-7, sophomore Heather O’Brien (Bellevue, Wash.) finished first in the 5,000 meters with a time of 18:24.47 and sophomore Carri Lenz (London, Ont.) also picked up a victory as she finished first in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:03.19. On the men’s side, Travis Davey (St. James, N.Y.) picked up a win in the 100 meters with his time of 10.94, senior Adrian Irby (Citrus Heights, Calif.) placed first in the triple jump with his leap of 47-5, and sophomore Terry Wray (Brandon, Miss.) sprinted to victory in the 200 meters in a time of 21.40.