Feb. 6, 2016
NOTRE DAME, Ind.- Another day of stacked competition at the University of Notre Dame’s annual Meyo Invitational saw the Fighting Irish take home nine top-10 finishes, along with three event wins.
“Our women’s team was awesome and performed very well today,” Irish head coach Alan Turner said. “Molly Seidel destroyed our school record in the women’s 3,000 meters that our Olympian Molly Huddle set; Molly [Seidel] destroyed it by eleven seconds. Molly Seidel is in a class of her own right now, so that was a huge highlight for us. Also, we had two other women that put times up that will qualify them for the National Championship meet – and that means they’re in the top 16 declared at the end of the season. Kaila Barber Friday night went 8.14 in the hurdles, and that’s a huge personal best for her – over a tenth of a second. So that’s great for her, especially it being only her second hurdle race of the year. We like what we see from her, and think she can challenge for the ACC title in that event.”
The marquee race of the meet was the Meyo Mile, and even from the early races, the performances did not disappoint. In the early heats of the men’s 1-mile, expectations were set high after a 4:02.81 and a U.S. No. 21-time was set by Michael Ward of Bradley. On the women’s side, Notre Dame senior Danielle Aragon had a breakthrough race. After battling injury since last May, Aragon came into the race ready to compete – and didn’t fail, running a time of 4:41.86 to earn her third place in her heat and 10th overall.
Although no one broke four minutes in the men’s mile race, with the closest time coming from David Timlin of Indiana State (4:00.42) there was no lack of excitement along the way. Notre Dame had strong representation, with juniors Jacob Dumford and Chris Marco running in the top heat. Marco earned 10th place overall (4:03.31), a personal best, and Dumford earned 17th overall and also set a person best time of 4:05.26.
One of the highlights of the day was senior Margaret Bamgbose’s win in the women’s 400-meter dash. She stayed with the pack for most of the race but was able to pull away with a late surge on the home stretch. Her time of 52.52 stands as a season best, and was enough to claim the No. 2 time in the nation in the women’s event.
Another highlight was NCAA cross country champion Molly Seidel’s performance in the 3000-meter run. After a close race, Seidel emerged victorious with a time of 8:57.13, which is currently stands as the No. 1 U.S. time. Seidel’s time also broke the school and meet records in the event.
“Going in, I was just trying to run a good opening race; this is my first race of the season, and I knew there was going to be a lot of great competition out here,” Seidel said of her elite performance. “I just wanted to go and stick my nose in amongst those other runners. I definitely had that sub-nine minute mark as a goal of mine, so I was very excited coming down the stretch and realizing I was going to squeak under.”
Sophomore Jessica Harris ran a time of 2:07.18 in the 800-meter run, which earned her third place. This was followed by a win from junior Nate Richartz, with a jump of 5.17m in the pole vault.
Similar to yesterday, Notre Dame’s alumni presence in meet competition was made known. Nike/NYAC competitor and Notre Dame alumna Mary Saxer shattered both the Meyo Invitational record and the Loftus center record in the women’s pole vault with her jump of 4.60m (15-1). Men’s team alumn Pat Feeney also won the 400-meter dash in 46.61.
In the 60-meter hurdles finals, Notre Dame alumnae Jade Barber claimed second place with her time of 8.06. Her sister, Irish graduate student Kaila Barber, earned sixth place in the same race with a time of 8.21. Kaila’s time yesterday in the preliminaries (8.14) was a personal best for her.
The Fighting Irish will next compete on February 12th and 13th at the Iowa State Classic and Spire D-I Invitational, and they will return to Meyo Field on February 20th for the Alex Wilson Invitational.
Meyo Invitational Records
Mary Saxer (4.60m [15-1]): also Loftus Center record
Cindy Ofili (7.97): also Loftus Center record
Nicole Sifuentes (4:30.50)
Molly Seidel (8:57.13)
Top Notre Dame Performances
- Taylor Craft (11.72m)
- Allie Sullivan (3.55m)
- Kaila Barber (8.21)
- Margaret Bamgbose (52.52)
- Danielle Aragon (4:41.86)
- Indi Jackson (13.95m)
- Molly Seidel (8:57.13)
- Jessica Harris (2:07.18)
- Notre Dame (3:38.97)
- Drake Stimson (48.24)
- Christopher Marco (4:03.31)
- Daniel Hardiman (14.64m)
- Grant Koch (1:52.64)
- Nate Richartz (5.17m)
- Michael Clevenger (18:15.56)
- Matthew Birzer (2.07m)