Jan. 20, 2018
By Matt Paras
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Notre Dame track & field team returned home for the first time in 2018 to host the Notre Dame Invitational. Competing against six other squads, the Irish had a number of strong results across the board. At the end of the meet, the men finished in a tie for second while the women finished third.
Senior Jordan Shead had the run of the afternoon in the 600m. She won the race with a time of 1:29.89, which set a new school record. The mark beat her previous record, which she set back at the 2016 Notre Dame Invitational.
“Jordan broke her own school record by almost two seconds and she is in great shape,” said head coach Alan Turner. “She is going to run the 400m in a few weeks and did well in the relay today. I think she will do well at the Meyo and put herself pretty high in the conference rankings.”
High jumper Matthew Birzer was next to claim a win for the Irish. He cleared 2.14m in his second jump for the win. Hunter Holden cleared 2.04m and finished third in the high jump.
Notre Dame had dominant performances from both the men and the women in the mile race. Jessica Harris placed first with a time of 4:43.16 and Jacob Dumford won with a time of 4:11.28.
In his first event of the season, sprinter Troy Pride Jr. qualified for the finals of the 60m dash with a 6.83 in the prelims. In the finals race, Pride finished third with a time of 6.85.
“Troy just started back up with us this past Tuesday,” said Turner. “He got a few practices under his belt and then he comes out with a 6.83 in the prelims. Once he gets fully back into track shape, I expect we will see him continue to be All-ACC in the 60-meters.”
On the women’s side, Kyla Lewis, Naya Sharp and Michaela Butler all qualified for the finals in the 60m dash. Lewis had the best finish of the trio in the finals race with a time of 7.53, good for second place.
The Irish had another first place finish on the afternoon in the women’s 800m. Kelly Hart started in front of the pack and never looked back to earn the win with a time of 2:09.40.
In the men’s weight throw, Logan Kusky had a personal best throw of 19.31m to win the event for the Irish. It was the third-longest weight throw in Notre Dame Indoor history.
Freshman distance runner Yared Nuguse made his collegiate indoor debut Saturday afternoon in the 3000m and did not disappoint. He finished first with a personal best time of 8:16.15. Nuguse was one of seven Irish runners to finish in the top-nine.
In the long jump, Antonio Villegas Jimenez continued his strong freshman campaign by setting a personal-best jump for the third straight meet. His fourth attempt of 6.79m beat his previous mark of 6.73m from last week’s Wolverine Invitational.
Another freshman PR was set in the women’s weight throw. Rachel Tanczos’s second throw traveled 17.69m, which beat her previous mark but over a meter and a half, and was good for eighth place overall.
The Irish will be on the road next week as they travel to Bloomington, Ind. for the Indiana Relays. The meet starts Friday, Jan. 26 and will conclude on Saturday, Jan. 27.
For more on the Irish track and field program, follow @NDXCTF on Twitter and Instagram.
Matt Paras, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since January 2018. In his role, he coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse and cross country/track & field programs. A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, Paras is a graduate of the University of Louisville where he completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sport Administration. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, he worked at Vanderbilt University as the sports information contact for the women’s soccer and lacrosse programs.