March 2, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Behind an impressive kick on the final lap from junior Jeremy Rae, the Notre Dame men’s distance medley relay team clinched a spot in next weekend’s NCAA Championships on day one of the Alex Wilson Invitational Friday night at the Loftus Sports Center.
The team of Johnathan Shawel, Chris Giesting, Randall Babb and Rae topped second place Wisconsin by just over a second to take the DMR title with a school record and NCAA Automatic Qualifying time of 9:29.72. The old school mark of 9:30.16 was set last year by Shawel, Patrick Feeney, Jack Howard and Rae. That group went on to become All-Americans after a fourth place showing.
Elsewhere on the track for the Irish the women’s distance medley relay team took second in a school record time of 11:04.45. It broke the 2004 record of 11:07.94 set by Lauren King, Kristen Dodd, Kerry Meagher and Molly Huddle.
In the field, several Irish student-athletes turned in strong performances.
Senior pole vaulter Kevin Schipper won the competition with a personal best vault of 5.40m (17-08.50 ft).
Fellow senior Maddie Buttinger won the high jump with a leap of 1.74m (5-08.50 ft) and took second in the long jump with a leap of 5.89m (19-04.00 ft).
Loftus and meet records set on Friday night included the Nebraska women in the DMR (10:58.74), Juli Accurso of Ohio University in the 5,000m (15:58.69) and Beth Rohl of Michigan State in the weight throw (20.99m).
Day two gets underway at 11 a.m. with the men’s triple jump, women’s shot put and the women’s 60m hurdles trials. Links for live results and live video from FLOTRACK can be found here.