NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame track and field team started the season on a strong note Friday evening at the Blue & Gold Invitational, hosted by the Fighting Irish at Loftus Sports Center. Winning 14 events overall, the contingent combined for nine qualifying marks for the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Championships.
Although the meet is considered low-key in the greater scheme of the season, Notre Dame head coach Alan Turner stresses its significance from a training perspective.
“It is more from the psyche of the act to say ‘hey, I did very well during the fall and it showed today’ or ‘I didn’t do as well as I thought I was doing – I’ve got a little work to do but I have time to get it together,'” Turner said. “We have six weeks until our second meet of the season, so there is plenty of time to get it together between now and Jan.16, when we go out to Wisconsin. It’s a long season and a long process, so I’m not pushing the panic button now for them to get it together, because they do have time to get it together.”
Sophomore Jessica Harris won the women’s mile and ran a personal best time of 4:54.97. Harris just missed the 2016 ACC Indoor Championships women’s qualifying time of 4:53.55. She was followed in fifth place by junior Jamie Marvil, with a time of 5:17.98.
Junior Nate Richartz had a strong first performance of the season, winning the men’s pole vault with a highest jump of 5.05m (16-7). This jump surpasses the men’s pole vault ACC qualifying standard of 4.83m, qualifying him for the 2016 ACC Indoor Championships. Sophomore Patrick Lynch and senior Brent Swanberg finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in the pole vault with their jumps of 4.20m (13-9).
In women’s weight throw, senior Lena Madison led the field from her first throw, winning and posting her best throw of 17.78m (58-4) on her last attempt. Teammate and freshman Alexa Coubal placed fifth with her throw of 14.34m. (47-1).
Men’s weight throw had a strong showing from Notre Dame. Junior Anthony Shivers won the event with his throw of 19.24m (63-2). Senior Nick Hauser earned fourth place with his throw of 17.17m (56-4).
Notre Dame earned wins in both the men’s and women’s 400-meter dash. Sophomore Eric Ways won with his time of 48.20, inching out teammate Alex Groesch with his time of 48.21. Both times are sufficiently under the 2016 ACC Indoor Championship qualifying time of 48.56. Junior John Rutkoskwi (48.86) and sophomore Drake Stimson (48.97) finished fifth place and seventh place, respectively. In the women’s field, sophomore Jordan Shead won the race with her time of 56.39. Senior Mikaila Chamblee followed close behind in fourth place, with a time of 58.553.
In men’s high jump, the Fighting Irish placed 1-2-3-4 in competition. Sophomore Hunter Holton won the meet with his jump of 2.00m (6-7). Freshman Matthew Birzer earned second place with a jump of 2.00m (6-7), followed by Drake Stimson (1.90m/6-3) in third and senior Brent Swanberg (1.90m/6-3) in fourth.
The Fighting Irish also posted wins in both the women’s and men’s 800-meter run. In the women’s competition, Alexis Daugherty won with a time of 2:12.35, followed in second by Kelly Hart (2:13.62) and third by Emily Franz (2:14.23). Junior Patrick O’Connell won the men’s competition with a time of 1:51.66, followed in second by sophomore Kirk Hansen (1:52.41).
Junior Harvey Smith won the men’s 200m with a time of 21.97, with teammate Alex Groesch in fifth (22.31). On the women’s side, sophomore Allison Bartoszewicz earned second place with a time of 24.81, followed by freshman Kyla Lewis in third (24.87).
In the women’s 4x400m relay, the Fighting Irish placed first in competition with a time of 3:47.42. The team consisted of Jordan Shead, Mikaila Chamblee, Payton Miller, and Margaret Bamgbose. The men’s 4x400m relay team also finished first, with a time of 3:16.90. The team consisted of John Rutkowski, Patrick O’Connell, Ben Harvel, and Alex Groesch.
Graduate student Carly Loefell posted a third-place finish in the women’s high jump with a mark of 1.60m (5-3). She was supported in the jumps by teammate Taylor Craft, whose performance of 11.12m (36-6) in the triple jump was enough to place her third. Craft later won the 60m hurdles with her time of 8.752.
TOP NOTRE DAME FINISHERS
3. Carley Loeffel – 1.60m
5. Dominique DeMoe – 5.12m
1. Jessica Harris – 4:54.97
3. Taylor Craft – 11.12m
1. Lena Madison – 17.78
1. Jordan Shead – 56.39
1. Alexis Daugherty – 2:12.35
1. Taylor Craft – 8.752
3. Kyla Lewis – 7.67
2. Allison Bartoszewicz – 24.81
3. Libby Schichtel – 3.40m
4. Indi Jackson – 13.09m
1. Ashlyn Rambo – 10:07.29
1. Shead, Chamblee, Miller, Bamgbose – 3:47.42
1. Nate Richartz – 5.05m
1. Eric Ways – 48.20
1. Hunter Holton – 2.00m
1. Anthony Shivers – 19.24m
1. Patrick O’Connell – 1:51.66
2. Brent Swanberg – 8.62
2. Billy Dolan – 8:44.27
1. Harvey Smith – 21.97
6. Daniel Hardiman – 14.08m
1. Rutkowski, O’Connell, Harvel, Groesch – 3:16.90
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– by Ashley Albertson and Matthew D’Alonzo, Athletics Communications