Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Smyth, Watson, Benninger And Clark Team To Make History At Drake Relays

April 27, 2008

DES MOINES, Iowa – Notre Dame won its third straight men’s 4×1,600 relay title at the Drake Relays on Friday night with a time of 16:5.82. It marked the fifth time in the last seven years, dating back to 2002, that the Fighting Irish won the event. The quartet of Patrick Smyth, Dan Clark, Jake Watson and Kurt Benninger finished ahead of second-place Indiana who crossed the line in 16:53.43.

The time currently stands as the world’s fastest mark in the event recorded this year.

Third leg Jake Watson
On taking control in the third leg after Missouri’s Kyle Rood was drafting off him …
“If I was in his position, I would definitely be drafting. The wind was pretty brutal on the backstretch and coming out on the second turn. I knew he was going to be there. I just didn’t know for how long. I told myself on the second lap that on the third lap, I would try to break him. When I came around into the third, he wasn’t with me, so it kind of took care of itself. The wind was tough. He definitely used it to his advantage.”

On Notre Dame’s dominance in the event …
“Every year we come out here and we always run this relay and the fact we’ve been able to win it four of the last five sort of establishes a tradition now. It’s something we look forward to every year. Last night we had a dinner with the (Notre Dame) alumni association of Des Moines. We do that every year we come out here. They take care of us really well. We just have a strong mid-distance, distance program in general. That’s sort of where our orientation is as far as track and field goes. This relay is perfect.”

Anchor leg Kurt Benninger
On the wind playing a factor during the race …
“It just slows you down and it’s tough to get into a rhythm. You try to stay relaxed and you have to fight through the wind to keep on going. And it’s cold out there today. When you get into the wind, it just cools you down a lot. It’s tougher to stay in a rhythm, it’s tougher to get going, tougher to stay relaxed because you’re trying to stay warm at the same time.”

On Notre Dame’s recent success at the Drake Relays …
“I think it’s because we have a great group of athletes. Patrick’s been an All-American three times, Jake twice, I’ve been six times and Dan Clark’s come on really well. With guys like that running, not many teams out there can put together a team like that. When you can put a distance group together like that, it’s going to be tough to beat.”

Leadoff Patrick Smyth
On his leadoff leg …
“I was trying to hold on for dear life. Dan Clark did a lot to get us back into it. I’ve got to throw the credit his way because I didn’t do a whole lot to get us in the mix.”

April 25-26 Results(finish - name - result)
Drake Relays - Des Moines, Iowa
4x1,600m Relay (M)1 - Patrick Smyth, Dan Clark, Jake Watson, Kurt Benninger - 16:51.82
400m Hurdles (M)19 - Austin Wechter - 52.91
1,500m Run (M)13 - Brett Adams - 4:00.30
Shot Put (M)Mike Schubert - 16.29mDenes Veres - 16.05m
Hammer Throw (W)9 - Anna Weber - 58.16m
Discus Throw (M)14 - Brandon Drenon - 47.57m
Discus Throw (W)14 - Jaclyn Espinoza - 44.58m
Hillsdale Relays - Hillsdale, Mich.
400m Dash (M)Billy Buzaid - 49.01Bob Kueny - 49.14
800m Run (M)Cameron Eckert - 1:52.33Jack Howard - 1:53.94Jim Notwell - 1:53.99Ryan Gamboa - 1:54.34Kevin Labus - 1:54.64Spencer Carter - 1:56.39Brier Steenberge - 1:57.23
800m Run (W)Jacqueline Carter - 2:16.25Molly Sullivan - 2:17.93
1,500m Run (M)Kevin McFadden - 4:00.91
1,500m Run (W)Julie Opet - 4:31.77Marissa Treece - 4:38.88Morgan Schulz - 4:44.28Elizabeth McMahan - 4:53.43
5,000m Run (M)Dan Jackson - 14:40.60Ryan Jacobs - 15:25.00
5,000m Run (W)Amy Kohlmeirer - 17:51.48Erica Watson - 18:51.98Emily Wauford - 19:02.18
3,000m Steeplechase (M)James Millar - 10:09.82
10,000m Run (W)Ann Mazur - 39:22.10
Long Jump (W)Jasmine Williams - 5.15m
Pole Vault (W)Mary Saxer - 4.00mJessica Sullivan - 3.55mRikki London - 3.25m
Triple Jump (W)Jaime Minor - 11.29m
Hammer Throw (M)Greg Davis - 54.54mJeff Mensch - 51.16m
High Jump (M)Blair Majcina - 2.10m
Shot Put (M)John Belcher - 15.28m
Shot Put (W)Rudy Atang - 11.72m
Discus Throw (M)Ryan Bell - 41.74m
Javelin Throw (M)Tray Morgan - 46.46m
Javelin Throw (W)Elise Knutzen - 39.84m