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Notre Dame Tallies 12 Wins In Opening Meet

Dec. 2, 2016


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By Megan Golden

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame track and field team opened its indoor season with 12 wins in the Blue & Gold Invitational on Friday at Loftus Sports Center.

The Irish wrapped up competition with eight second-place finishes, including two down-to-the-wire 4x400m relays at the end of the night.

On the men’s side, senior Tommy Grant (6.87) and sophomore Zachary Zajdel (2nd, 6.97) finished first and second, respectively, in the 60m dash. Senior Alex Groesch (1st, 21.91) and Zajdel (2nd, 22.11) led the 200m dash, and Groesch came in first place in the 400m dash (48.47).

In a thrilling men’s 4x400m relay, Notre Dame senior John Rutkowski, junior Drake Stimson, senior Patrick O’Connell and Groesch (3:14.82), finished .01 second behind first-place DePaul (3:14.81).

Sophomore Matthew Birzer (2.15m) and junior Hunter Holton (1.95) recorded first- and third-place finishes in the high jump. Senior All-American Nate Richartz took first place in the men’s pole vault (5.00m).

A pair of Irish freshmen, Summer Thorpe (1st, 8.64) and Naya Sharp (3rd, 8.75), recorded top-three finishes in the women’s 60m hurdles. Sharp also placed third (7.63) in the women’s 60m dash. Junior Allison Bartoszewicz finished first (25.29) in the women’s 200m dash, while Thorpe placed second (25:57) overall.

Senior Indi Jackson recorded a first-place finish in the shot put (15.05), and Sharp was second in the long jump (5.59m).

Posted by Notre Dame Cross Country/Track & Field on Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Men’s Performer of the Meet

Sophomore Matthew Birzer made a statement in the high jump, finishing first (2.15m) of five jumpers. Birzer was just shy of his personal record, 2.17m (2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships).

“We didn’t see much during the regular season [from Birzer], but when it was ACC time, the kid was doing very well,” Irish head coach Alan Turner said. “Him starting off here, his confidence, he can go to the NCAA meet if he can do that.”

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Women’s Performer of the Meet

Irish junior Payton Miller finished first in the 400m dash (55.17), recording a personal record in the first meet of the season.

Turner said he enjoys watching Miller, a team captain, lead by example.

“She won by three seconds today,” Turner said. “I told her to run 54.00, and she just missed it at 55.17.
I think she can improve by two seconds by the end of the season.

“She’s had a fantastic fall; she’s busted her butt at practice and in the weight room every day. I’m proud of her.”

Head Coach Alan Turner Says…

On his team’s performance in today’s opening meetââ’¬¦
“The first meet is like a box of chocolates; you don’t know what you’re going to get until you bite in. Some of the freshmen stepped up and did very well–Summer Thorpe, in particular. Then, there were some freshmen who were out to lunch today. I told them, ‘If you had a great meet, you’ve got six weeks and can still improve and have a great season. If you messed up today, you have six weeks to get it together for the next meet.”

On the significance of this meet…
“This meet, in the long run, doesn’t have a big bearing on where you’re going to be at the end of the year. But, the people that do very well are probably going to do very well at the end.”

Coming Up Next

Notre Dame travels to Champaign, Ill., at 11 a.m. ET on January 14, 2017 to compete in the Illini Classic. The team returns to Loftus Sports Center a week later at 11 a.m. ET on January 21, 2017, when it hosts the Notre Dame Invitational.

Top Irish Finishers:

M Long Jump:

12. Carter Sorenson- 6.33m

W Long Jump:

2. Jernaya Sharp- 5.59m

W Triple Jump:

2. Taylor Craft- 11.52m

W High Jump:

2. Keira Kelly- 1.59m

M Pole Vault:

1. Nate Richartz- 5.00m

W Weight Throw:

1. Alexa Coubal- 15.99m

M Weight Throw:

2. Anthony Shivers- 19.10m

W Shot Put:

1. Indi Jackson- 15.05m

M Shot Put:

3. Daniel Hardiman- 15.88

W Pole Vault:

3. Kassadee Ifft- 3.50m

M High Jump:

1. Matthew Birzer- 2.15m

M Mile:

2. Andrew Stone- 4:20.37

W 400m:

1. Payton Miller- 55.17

M 400m:

1. Alex Groesch- 48.47

W 60m Hurdles:

1. Summer Thorpe- 8.64

W 60m:

2. Parker English- 7.617

M 60m:

1. Tommy Grant- 6.87

W 800m:

1. Samantha Murray- 2:17.40

M 800m:

1. Patrick O’Connell- 1:52.55

W 200m:

1. Allison Bartoszewicz- 25.29

M 200m:

1. Alex Groesch- 21.91

W 4x400m Relay:

2. Notre Dame- 3:51.10

M 4x400m Relay:

2. Notre Dame- 3:14.81


Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.