June 4, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Irish track and field teams will head south next week for the NCAA Outdoor Championships at John McDonnell Field on the campus of the University of Arkansas.
Seven Irish student-athletes will represent Notre Dame at this year’s national meet.
Three-time track All-American Patrick Smyth will compete in the 10,000 meters, after setting an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 28:25.85 at the Stanford Invitational. That time set a new Irish record and currently ranks fifth nationally. The senior from Salt Lake City, Utah earned his most recent All-America honor at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships with an eighth-place finish (8:01.56) in the 3,000 meters. The BIG EAST 10,000-meter champion did not compete at the Mideast Regional meet.
Senior Mary Saxer garnered a trip to the NCAA outdoors after a fifth-place finish at the regional meet and a record-breaking BIG EAST performance. The Lancaster, N.Y., native broke the BIG EAST Championships pole vault record with a 4.20 meter (13-9 1/4) title-winning vault at the 2009 outdoor meet, before finishing fifth at the NCAA regional competition with a mark of 4.11 meters (13-5 3/4). Saxer earned her first All-America honor at the ’09 NCAA indoors, after finishing ninth in the pole vault with a height of 4.05 meters (13-3 1/2).
Joanna Schultz will run the 400 meters for the Irish. The ’09 BIG EAST 400-meter outdoor champion finished fifth at the regional meet with a time of 53.32. She finished eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships in 54.09 to earn her first All-America citation.
Matt Schipper will compete in the pole vault after a fifth-place finish at the Mideast regional. The Leo, Ind., native won his second straight BIG EAST title at the league’s outdoor meet with a height of 5.25 meters (17-2 3/4). He competed at the ’09 NCAA Indoor Championships, finishing 14th in the pole vault. His vault of 5.30 meters (17-4 1/2) currently ranks 19th nationally.
Jaclyn Espinoza will be making her third straight trip to the NCAA outdoor meet. She finished 25th in the discus a year ago and recorded a 22nd-place finish in 2007. She finished fifth at the ’09 NCAA Mideast Regional and won her first BIG EAST discus title with a mark of 50.80 meters (166-08).
Anna Weber finished fifth in the hammer throw at the Mideast regional to earn a spot at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Her regional mark of 61.20 meters (200-09) crushed her own school record and currently ranks 23rd nationally. She earned all-BIG EAST honors with a throw of 57.94 meters (190-01) and a third-place finish at the league meet.
Justin Schneider will compete in the decathlon for the Irish in his first NCAA appearance. He earned all-league honors and finished second at the BIG EAST Championships with 6,842 points.
Events begin Wednesday at 10:30 with the men’s hammer throw qualifying rounds and continue through Saturday.
Complete results will be available at www.und.com following each day of competition.