May 6, 2000
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The Notre Dame men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams are in contention for team titles at the 2000 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships being held May 6 and 7 in Piscataway, N.J. The men stand in first place after the first full day of competition with 76 points, followed by Connecticut (41) and Georgetown (35). The women are in second place with 44 points, behind Villanova (57) and ahead of Rutgers and Pittsburgh with 31 points, respectively. Both teams are in search of their first titles since beginning BIG EAST conference competition in 1996.
The men’s distance specialists were the highlight of the day for the Irish. Cross country All-American junior Ryan Shay (Central Lake, Mich.) won the 10,000 meters in 31:06.29, followed by senior teammate Mike Griewe (Tampa, Fla.) in second at 31:20.98. The Irish almost completed a 1-2-3 sweep when senior Sean McManus (Hernando, Fla.) placed fourth (31:4.04).
Sophomore Luke Watson (Stillwater, Minn.) dominated the men’s steeplechase, finishing in 9:00.25, nearly seven minutes faster than the second place finisher.
The women’s team was led by their field event specialists. Freshman Jamie Volkmer (Kearney, Neb.) won the pole vault by clearing 11’9 3/4″. Volkmer improved her own school record with the effort and wins her first BIG EAST individual title after finishing second in the indoor pole vault at the 2000 BIG EAST indoor meet. Sophomore Dore DeBartolo (Aurora, Ill.) placed second in the shot put, bested by a meet record throw from Cheree Hicks of Syracuse.
Senior Emily Bienko (Tranquillity, NJ) set a school record in the heptathalon with 4570 points and a second place finish, eclipsing her own school record set last year at the BIG EAST meet.
Action continues tomorrow at 9 a.m. with the sprints and the remaining field and distance events.