Jan. 25, 2002
The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams posted victories over Michigan State at the Loftus Sports Complex Friday evening. The Irish women posted a 94.5-62.5 victory and the men defeated the Spartans 96.5-61.5, as both teams combined to win 22 of the 30 events in the meet.
The men’s team started out with a shot in the arm from sprint and horizontal jumper Tom Gilbert. Returning to action after missing the first home meet of the season with an illness, Gilbert won the men’s long jump with a 7.15m (23-5 1/4) effort to begin the evening.
The Irish sprint group took over next. Freshman Dwight Ellick ran away from the field to win the 60 meters in 6.93, qualifying for the BIG EAST Indoor Championship in just his first race of the season.
In the 200-meter event, a rarity occurred when teammates Gilbert and Ryan Hurd finished in a tie for first place (22.18). Irish hurdle specialist Selim Nurudeen was right behind in third place (22.31).
Nick Setta then won his first race of the season, outrunning teammate Mike Mansour in the 500 meters (1:04.62). Setta shaved almost a second off a BIG EAST qualifying time he posted last week against Ball State and Western Michigan.
Luke Watson led a strong Notre Dame contingent in the mile run, crossing the finish line ahead of three teammates in 4:10.06. Sean Zanderson finished second, Tom Lennon third and David Alber fourth.
Quill Redwine made it a clean sweep for the Irish in the horizontal jumps, winning the triple jump with a 14.14m (46-4 3/4) leap. Over in the throws pit, Derek Dyer won the shot put with a 15.28 toss (50-1 3/4) while Brian Thornburg posted a victory in the weight throw with a 16.77 (55-1/4) effort.
In possibly the most impressive win of the day for the Irish, freshman Eric Morrison outran Michigan State’s 800-meter specialist Andy Lixey to win in 1:51.86 (a personal-best time for the Irish rookie). Continuing the recap of the distance lane, Ryan Shay posted a NCAA qualification time in the 3,000 with a second-place 8:07.06 time.
The women’s team kept up its solid work in the sprint events against the Spartans, taking the 60 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters and the 500. Ayesha Boyd (7.54) and Kristen Dodd (7.72) finished one-two in the 60, Boyd (24.47) and Kymia Love (24.59) took one-two in the 200, Liz Grow (54.98) and Dodd (55.94) were one-two in the 400 meters and Love (1:13.03) and Amanda Alvarez (1:15.50) ended up one-two in the 500 meters.
Moving up the distance didn’t cut down on the Irish victories. Freshman cross country All-American Lauren King easily won the 800 meters in 2:13.35, Jen Handley coasted to a win in the 3,000 meters (9:54.30) and Megan Johnson dominated the mile run (4:52.81).
Freshman Tiffany Gunn continued her impressive early season effort, winning the 60-meter hurdles in 8.96.
In the field events, Jennifer Kearney and Kim Utterson tied for first in the high jump (1.62m), followed by teammate Kaitlin Meiser. Jill Van Weelden matched her season-high measurement in the pole vault (3.50m – 11-5 3/4) to get the victory and Jaime Volkmer posted a season-high 11.66m (38-3 3/4) leap in the triple jump to finish first.
Both teams will return to action next weekend at home once again for the Meyo Invitational. The highly-competitive yearly event begins Friday, Feb. 1, at 6 p.m., then continues on Saturday at 10 a.m.