Jan. 26, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Senior All-American Thomas Chamney (Tipperary, Ireland/St. Columba’s) and junior distance standout Jake Watson (Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater Area) delighted the crowd and earned NCAA provisional qualifying marks in the mile at the Notre Dame Invitational, which took place Friday evening in the Loftus Sports Center on the Notre Dame campus. Chamney’s personal-best time of 4:02.63 stands as the nation’s fastest heading into Saturday’s action and also is the ninth-fastest effort in Notre Dame history, while Watson’s career-best 4:03.30 mark ranks third on the early-season collegiate performance lists. Both runners also qualify for the BIG EAST Indoor Championships to be held Feb. 17-18 in Akron, Ohio.
The Irish went six-deep with BIG EAST qualifiers in the mile competition, with senior Todd Ptacek, sophomore Patrick Smyth, and juniors Adam Currie and Brett Adams all running well under the 4:19.54 league qualifying standard. All told, the Notre Dame men won four events, established 12 new BIG EAST qualifying marks and improved on six previous league qualifying performances.
On the women’s side, senior Okechi Ogbuokiri (Willingboro, N.J./Willingboro) led the way with a first-place and season-best showing in the 400 meters, clocking 55.67 to pull her teammates, junior Crysta Swayzer (Houston, Texas/Westbury Senior) and freshman Joanna Schultz (Holmen, Wisc./Holmen), to their new season bests of 55.98 and 56.22 seconds, respectively.
Irish women won seven events and garnered six new BIG EAST qualifications. The women’s squad now boasts 35 BIG EAST qualifying marks in 14 different events, while the men own 42 BIG EAST berths in 15 events. Chamney and Watson join sophomore Patrick Smyth (Salt Lake City, Utah/Judge Memorial) as the only Irish athletes to post NCAA qualifying marks during the indoor season. Smyth posted his provisional bid to reach the NCAA meet (March 9-10 in Fayetteville, Ark.) in the 5,000 meters at the Blue and Gold Invitational on Dec. 1.
One other performer of note was Michigan State’s Jeremy Orr, who ran a time of 46.79 in the 400 meters to establish an NCAA provisional mark and move into the top slot on collegiate performance lists heading into the evening’s competition.
Notre Dame returns to competition next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2-3, when it plays host to the 20th annual Meyo Invitational at the Loftus Sports Center. The centerpiece event is the famed Meyo Mile, which regularly features the nation’s top distance runners and annually generates some of the fastest times in the country.
Notre Dame’s New and Improved BIG EAST Qualifying Marks from the Notre Dame Invitational
(* – indicates career best)
Women’s 60 Meters: Domenique Manning – 7.85*
Women’s 200 Meters: Joanna Schultz – 24.83*; Okechi Ogbuokiri – 24.92; Crysta Swayzer – 24.99
Women’s 400 Meters: Okechi Ogbuokiri – 55.67; Crysta Swayzer – 55.98; Joanna Schultz – 56.22*
Women’s 800 Meters: Brianne Schmidt – 2:15.54
Women’s Mile: Amy Kohlmeier – 4:54.02*; Katie DeRusso – 5:05.63
Women’s 3,000 Meters: Heidi Rocha – 9:58.03*; Lindsey Ferguson – 10:01.67
Women’s 60-meter hurdles: Domenique Manning – 8.61*
Men’s 60 Meters: Jeff Farnell – 7.03*
Men’s 200 Meters: Jeff Farnell – 21.86*; Jordan Powell – 22.40*
Men’s 400 Meters: Jordan Powell – 48.43*; Austin Wechter – 48.50*; Billy Buzaid – 48.98*
Men’s 500 Meters: Bob Kueny – 1:04.12*
Men’s 800 Meters: John Cavanaugh – 1:52.38; Jim Notwell – 1:54.38*; Cameron Eckert – 1:54.86
Men’s Mile: Thomas Chamney – 4:02.63*; Jake Watson – 4:03.30*; Patrick Smyth – 4:08.89*; Todd Ptacek – 4:09.45; Adam Currie – 4:12.06; Brett Adams – 4:12.98
Men’s Pole Vault: Jim Merchun – 4.50m (14-09)*
Men’s Weight Throw: Garet Koxlien – 17.27m (56-08)