February 25, 1999

Notre Dame, Ind.– Notre Dame’s track and field program enjoyed its best ever BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field Championships as the men placed second and the women placed third at the meet, which was held in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.. This was the women’s highest finish ever at the championships with their sixth-place finish in 1997 being the previous high. The men earned their third consecutive second-place finish as they totaled 101 points, 65.5 points behind Georgetown and 21 points ahead of third-place Connecticut. The women, who were in first place after the first day of the championships, ended up with 100 points, 19 behind first-place Pittsburgh and 10 back from runner-up Miami. Irish senior Mike Brown (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) made history at the championships as he became the second Irish trackster to win three consecutive BIG EAST individual indoor championships as he placed first in the pole vault with a mark of 16-2 3/4. Former Irish All-American Jason Rexing was the first to accomplish that feat with his victories in the 5,000 meters from 1996-98. Junior All-American JoAnna Deeter (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) earned the women’s only victory as she ran to a first-place finish in the 5,000 meters in a time of 16:22.64. Deeter narrowly missed becoming a double winner at the championships as she placed a close second to Providence’s Sarah Dupree in the 3,000 meters. Deeter’s time of 9:32.48 was just 17 hundredths behind Dupree’s time of 9:32.31.

Notre Dame had two other first-place finishers on the men’s side, besides Brown. Junior Marshaun West (Sikeston, Mo.) blazed his way to a victory in the 200 meters as he ran to a time of 21.42. West had earned the top seed in the 200 meters with his preliminary time of 21.28, and his time in the finals was over four tenths faster than his nearest competitor. West also earned all-BIG EAST honors with his second-place finish in the long jump. West’s mark of 24-1 1/2 was less than an inch behind Georgetown’s France Davis’ mark of 24-2 1/4. Sophomore distance runner Ryan Shay (Central Lake, Mich.) also picked up first and second-place finishes at the championships. Shay narrowly won the 3,000 meters as he outsprinted West Virginia’s Steve Bohan to the finish to win in a time of 8:20.38, just ahead of Bohan’s time of 8:20.66. Shay also picked up some points for the Irish with his second-place finish in the 5,000 meters with a time of 14:18.70. Junior Tim Kober (Gillette, N.J.) recorded his highest ever finish at the BIG EAST Championships as he ran to third-place finish in the 800 meters in a time of 1:53.15, while senior Antonio Arce (Palmdale, Calif.) placed fourth in the mile run with a time of 4:14.43.

On the women’s side, Notre Dame earned four second-place finishes to complement Deeter’s first-place finish. Freshman Liz Grow (New Braunfels, Tex.) finished second in the 400 meters with her time of 55.56. Grow’s second-place finish was the highest ever for the Irish in the 400 meters. Junior Jennifer Engelhardt (Battle Creek, Mich.), the defending BIG EAST outdoor high jump champion, matched her indoor career best mark of 5-10 3/4 as she finished second in the high jump for the third consecutive year. Freshman Natalie Hallett (Huntington Beach, Calif.) came in second in the pole vault and again cleared 10 feet as she finished with a height of 10-0. Sophomore Bethany Wilson (San Rafael, Calif.) was right behind Hallett in the pole vault as she finished fourth with a height of 9-6 1/4. Junior Patti Rice (Mishawaka, Ind.) ran well as she finished third in the mile run with a time of 4:52.51, and freshman Dore DeBartolo (Aurora, Ill.), competing at her first BIG EAST Championships, placed third in the shot put with a mark of 44-5 1/4.

Alex Wilson Invitational Preview: The ninth running of the Alex Wilson Invitational will take place this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26-27 on the Loftus Center’s Meyo Track. The first day of competition starts Friday night at 6:00 p.m. with the men’s 35-pound weight throw and concludes with the men’s distance medley relay at 8:15 p.m. The second day of the invitational begins at 11:00 a.m on Saturday with the women’s long jump and 20-pound weight throw. Irish senior Mike Brown will look to repeat as champion in the pole vault, and sophomore Terry Wray (Brandon, Miss.) will be looking to do the same in the 500 meters. Senior Nadia Schmiedt (London, Ont.) hopes to build on her fifth-place finish in the 500 meters at the BIG EAST Championships as she attempts to repeat last year’s first-place finish in the 400 meters at the Alex Wilson Invitational.