Jan. 14, 2006
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A small group of 20 track and field athletes represented Notre Dame well at the Purdue Invitational, which took place Saturday at Lambert Fieldhouse in West Lafayette, Ind. The Irish competitors, primarily the jumpers and throwers, recorded two first-place and six second-place finishes in the non-scored meet, the first action for the Notre Dame squad following a five-week break for the Christmas holiday.
Both top finishes for the Irish came on the women’s side. Freshman Lauren Biscardi (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham Wading River) led a 1-2-3 Irish sweep in the high jump, clearing 1.68m (5 feet, 6 inches). Senior Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers) and junior Cassie Gullickson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Brentwood (Tenn.)) also were successful at the 1.68-meter height, with the final placings determined by a jumpoff. Gullickson’s mark was 0.01 meters shy of her personal best and improved on her BIG EAST Conference Championship qualifying leap of 1.64 meters that she notched at last month’s Blue & Gold Invitational. Gullickson also was second in the triple jump at 11.50 meters (37-8.75).
Meanwhile, freshman Mary Saxer (Lancaster, N.Y./Central) claimed top honors in the pole vault at a height of 3.80 meters (12-5.5), not quite matching the 3.95-meter vault (12-11.5) she had at the Blue & Gold meet that provisionally qualified her for the NCAA Championships. Senior Laura Huarte (Shingle Springs, Calif./St. Francis) was fourth in the pole vault competition, matching her BIG EAST qualification mark of 3.50 meters (11-5.75) from the Blue & Gold Invitational.
In the long jump, freshman Alyissa Hasan (Williamsville, N.Y./South) earned a berth in the BIG EAST Championship with her leap of 5.43 meters (17-9.75), while sophomore Katie Jannazo (Fort Walton Beach, Fla./Choctawhatchee) closed in on the conference standard of 5.40 meters, taking fourth place at 5.18 meters (17-0). Jannazo also raced in the 600 meters, winning her section and placing third overall in a time of 1:46.69.
The Irish female throwers saw improvement at Purdue as well. Senior Meghan Horn (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) took runner-up laurels in both the shot put (13.45m, 44-1.5) and weight throw (15.25m, 50-0.5), extending her BIG EAST qualifying distance in the shot put. At the same time, freshman Anna Weber (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) was fourth in the shot put (12.28m, 40-3.5) and third in the weight throw (14.07m, 46-2), adding a full meter to her toss in the latter event at the Blue & Gold meet.
On the men’s side, the Irish saw their biggest development in the weight throw, as all four Notre Dame participants bettered their marks from last month. Junior Garet Koxlien (Galesville, Wis./Galesville-Ettrick-Trempealeau) was second at 16.45 meters (53-11.75), significantly improving his BIG EAST qualifying standard, followed by sophomore Kyle Annen (Orofino, Idaho/Orofino) in third at 16.23 meters (53-3). Sophomore Michael Schubert (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy) was sixth at 14.90 meters (48-10.75), and junior Kevin Moffitt (Califon, N.J./Delbarton) was seventh at 14.31 meters (46-11.5). Schubert also placed third in the shot put with a heave of 14.56 meters (47-9.25), nearly two meters better than his mark at the Blue & Gold.
In the pole vault, junior Dave Viken (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows) tied for seventh at 4.60 meters (15-1), while freshman Tray Morgan (Daphne, Ala./McGill-Toolen Catholic) joined Hasan as the latest BIG EAST qualifier, clearing 4.45 meters (14-7.25). Morgan and freshman Gonzalo Brenner (Santiago, Chile/St. George’s College) also ran in the 60-meter hurdles — Morgan reached the finals where he ran a season-best 9.00 seconds to place sixth, while Brenner just missed advancing to the finals with a time of 9.21 seconds in his preliminary heat. Freshman Blair Majcina (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) completed the Irish effort with a second-place finish in the high jump, clearing the bar at 2.02 meters (6-7.5).
With Saturday’s performances by Hasan and Morgan, Notre Dame now has 29 athletes who have posted a total of 36 qualifying marks in for the BIG EAST Indoor Championships in 20 different events. Irish competitors currently hold the top two conference times in the men’s 1,000-meter run, as well as four of the top five times in the women’s 200-meter dash, two of the top four in the women’s 400 meters and three of the top five heights in the women’s pole vault.
The Irish now return home for their next three meets of the 2005-06 indoor track & field season, beginning Friday, Jan. 20 at 5 p.m. (ET) with the Notre Dame Opener at the Loftus Sports Center.
— ND —