Feb. 10, 2018
By Matt Paras
The Notre Dame Track and Field team enjoyed a strong final day of competition in the SPIRE D-1 Invitational and Iowa State Classic. The sprinters in particular had a great final day, highlighted by wins in the women’s 60m hurdles and the 4x400m relay.
“I think the team is moving in the right direction with two weeks to go before the conference championships,” said Hatherly-Piane Head Track and Field Coach Alan Turner. “We set 11 personal-records in Ohio this weekend and had some great races from Jordan [Shead] in the 200m and Summer [Thorpe] in the 60m hurdles and the 4×400 relay team.”
SPIRE D-1 Invitational
Sophomore Summer Thorpe had her best performance of the season in the 60m hurdles Saturday afternoon in Geneva, Ohio. She posted a time of 8.47 in the prelims which was the second fastest time of the day and earned her a trip to the finals. Naya Sharp and Grace Cronin also advanced to the finals of the event.
In the finals, almost all the runners improved on their prelim times which led to a fast heat and Thorpe had to come from behind to claim first place. She was third after the first hurdle but started to run everyone down and finished in first with a personal-best time of 8.35. Sharp (8.51) and Cronin (8.57) would also set personal-records in the final and finished fourth and seventh, respectively.
“Summer had a great day in the hurdles and still has more in the tank,” said assistant coach Pristina Jones. “This hurdle group is young but composed with a mountain of talent. Three of the four PR’d and the fourth was close to a PR.”
“Very happy for Summer [Thorpe] who put it all together in the 60m hurdles today,” said Turner. “She had her family in town from Pittsburgh and she fed of that energy and ran a great race in the final to win.”
Kyla Lewis (7.65), Sharp (7.67) and Troy Pride Jr. (6.86) continued Notre Dame’s string of finals appearances in the 60m dash. Lewis and Sharp advanced on the women’s side while Pride Jr. made it for the men. Pride Jr. tallied a third place finish in the finals Lewis and Sharp finished eighth and ninth.
Jones senses the group is on the verge of a breakthrough in the next few weeks leading into the conference championship.
“Lewis, Sharp and Pride Jr. are one race away from having a huge breakthrough in the 60m dash,” stated Jones. “The race is so fast and there are no margins for error.”
In the 400m dash, the Irish had personal-best marks set by both the men and the women. Junior Edward Cheatham placed seventh with a PR of 48.58, beating his personal-best mark from last week at the Meyo Invitational. On the women’s side, sophomore Madysen Hunter had a personal-best time of 58.04.
Thorpe and the Irish relay team closed the meet out on a high note in the 4x400m relay. Allison Bartoszewicz, Hunter, Thorpe and Jordan Shead edged out the team from the University of Toronto Track Club and finished first overall with a time of 3:41.09. It is the fastest 4x400m run by the Irish this season by over three seconds.
In the infield, Antonio Villegas Jimenez added to the Irish win count on the final day. He took first overall in the long jump with the top jump of 6.73m (22-01.00).
Graduate student Indi Jackson paced the Irish throwers in the shot put. She finished third overall with her best throw of the day at 14.87m (48-09.50).
Carter Sorenson finished off the second day of the men’s heptathlon. He totaled 4706 points and claimed third overall.
Iowa State Classic
Jacob Dumford, Kirk Hansen and Jessica Harris finished off the Irish competing in the Iowa State Classic saturday afternoon. Harris ran in the mile (4:36.46) and finished second overall out of 35 runners. Dumford (1:51.37) and Hansen (1:55.92) both ran in the 800m.
Notre Dame returns to South Bend for their final home meet of the season. The Irish will host the Alex Wilson Invitational next Saturday as the final tune-up before the ACC Championships.
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.