Feb. 5, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame track & field program will host the famous Meyo Invitational for the 28th time this Friday and Saturday at the Loftus Sports Center.
The invitational is set to host one of the largest fields in recent memory, as nearly 1,000 entries have been accepted representing 49 schools and several track clubs from across the country. The annual event typically averages between 700 and 800 participants.
As always, the most anticipated event of the weekend is the Meyo Mile, which attracts elite runners from across the country. This year, the event will see the return of Jeremy Rae, who won the event three times while at Notre Dame. Rae, who graduated last spring after breaking the Notre Dame indoor mile record in the event with a 3:57.25. Now racing as a member of the Speed River Track Club, Rae will return to the Meyo Track for what head Coach Alan Turner expects to be another race rife with sub-four times. Junior Michael Clevenger will be competing in the event for the Irish on Saturday.
Still, the Meyo Mile is not the only stacked event. Indeed, All-Americans and Olympians will be on hand for a very competitive weekend. Tiffany Porter, running for adidas, will compete in the women’s 60-meter hurdles. Porter barely missed qualifying for the 100-meter hurdles finals at the 2012 London Olympics as a member of Team Great Britain. American Jeff Porter and Barbados native Greggmar Swift will compete in the men’s 60-meter hurdles. Jeff Porter placed 11th in the 110-meter hurdles semifinals in London, while Swift also competed at the Games.
“If you look at every event, you have All-Americans in every event,” Turner said. “I’m excited about all the events, not just the Meyo Mile.”
Turner is also optimistic the Irish can continue their streak of breaking school records. So far this season, at least one school mark has been broken in each meet the Irish have competed in, thanks in large part to the efforts of freshman Jessica Harris and senior Chris Giesting. Harris has a trio of school standards to her name (600 meters, 800 meters, 1,000 meters), while Giesting has broken two years-old records in the 200 meters and 600 meters (he also holds indoor records in the 400, 500 and 4×400-meter relay).
“Obviously we can’t keep that going forever, but if the kids are still setting personal bests, that’s going to carry us a long way,” Turner said, before noting Harris has a chance to break her own record again in the 800 this weekend. “It’s a pretty loaded field with some post-collegiate and professional (runners) in that race, so she could possibly dip under 2:06 there.”
Turner also thinks the women’s 4×400-meter relay has a chance to challenge the school record after recording a season-best time of 3:38.2 last week at Arkanasas’ Razorback Invitational.
ACC LEADERS: The Irish men’s team currently boasts seven individuals among the top 10 in the ACC in their respective events, plus a pair of relay teams in the 4×400-meter relay (first) and the distance medley relay (ninth). Giesting tops the ACC in the 400 meters (45.98) and sits second in the 200 (21.02). Brent Swanberg is second in heptathlon (5,047 points), while Keith Mesidor ranks fifth in long jump (7.24m) among ACC competitors. Harvey Smith sits at seventh in the 200 meters (21.66), and Clevenger is also seventh in the 3,000 meters (8:06.50). Grant Koch is eighth in the 800 meter field (1:52.00) and Dominick Padovano rates 10th in the weight throw (18.36m).
Nine Irish women rank among the ACC top 10 in several events. Jade Barber is second in the ACC in the 60-meter hurdles (8.31) and seventh in the 60-meter dash (7.59). Molly Seidel rates second in the 3,000 meters (9:20.6) and fourth in the mile (4:42.8). Emily Morris’s school record throw in the shot put to open the season places her first among ACC foes (16.03m). Margaret Bamgbose is second in the conference in the 400 meters (53.35), and Harris is fifth in the 800 (2:06.9). Danielle Aragon is fifth in the mile (4:44.0) and Mary-Esther Gourdin is eighth in the triple jump (12.14m). Emily Carson comes in ninth in the long jump (5.9m), and Ihuoma Nwaogwugwu comes in 10th in the weight throw (17.41m). Both Irish relay teams rank in the top five in the ACC.
MEYO MEDIA: The 2015 Meyo Invitational will kick off at 4 p.m. ET on Friday beginning with field events, with running events scheduled to begin around 5 p.m. ET. The action will pick up again at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, with unseeded running events scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET. Invitational races — including the finals of the 60-meter hurdles and 60-meter dash, the Meyo Mile and the Ryan Shay 3,000 meter — will begin around 2 p.m. ET.
Flotrack will broadcast the Meyo Invitational with total coverage of both days of the event. Live results will be available via deltatiming.com. For the latest updates from Notre Dame Track & Field, follow the Irish on Twitter, @NDXCTF, and like Notre Dame Cross Country/Track & Field on Facebook.
2015 Notre Dame Meyo Invitational Entries
4×400 meter relay
Parker English, Jordan Shead, Payton Miller, Margaret Bamgbose
4×400 meter relay
By Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant