Jan. 18, 2002
The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams began the home indoor season versus Western Michigan and Ball State in the Loftus Sports Complex on Friday evening. The Irish women posted their first team victory of the season with 136 points, while Ball State finished second (109.5) and Western Michigan (86.5) third. On the men’s side, Western Michigan walked away with the team title (123.5), with Ball State second (111) and Notre Dame (103.5) in third. The Irish men competed without top performers Tom Gilbert, Quill Redwine, Marc Striowski and Pat Conway.
The men were able to post some solid event victories in their first home meet of the season. Freshman Eric Morrison won his first home collegiate event, taking the 800 meters in 1:54.29. Morrison might have surprised the 800 field, competing in the first of two heats but posting a time no one in the second heat could match.
In the distance lane, cross country All-American Luke Watson ran away with the 3,000 meters. The Irish senior showed the ability to post an NCAA qualifying time, but was forced to run the last three laps with no competition. The 8:14.52 time would give Watson a personal best time at Notre Dame by five seconds.
Freshman Selim Nurudeen joined Morrison in the victory lane of their first home collegiate race. Nurudeen had an impressive run in the 60-meter hurdles, winning in 8.11 over teammate Napolean Suarez (8.30). Sophomore Mark Barber finished fourth in the 60-meter hurdles as well (8.37).
Notre Dame’s 4×440 relay team rounded out the team victories for the Irish, taking first in 3:18.70.
The women’s team dominated the meet, winning 11 of the 16 events. The Irish sprint corps flexed its muscles, winning every speed event but the 4×440 relay. Ayesha Boyd got the group off to a great start with a victory in the 60 meters (7.58). Following Boyd’s start, All-American and BIG EAST Champion Liz Grow beat teammate Kristen Dodd in the 200 meters (24.53 to 25.12).
Kymia Love placed first in the 100 meters, followed by Jen Handley in the mile run and the 3,000 meters, Grow with her second victory of the meet in the 500 meters, freshman Tiffany Gunn in the 60-meter hurdles (8.96) and Betsy Lazzeri in the high jump.
Notre Dame’s pole vault contingent swept the top three spots, led by Jill Van Weelden’s 11-6 effort. Jaime Volkmer (who also finished second in the triple jump) finished behind Van Weelden with the same height, followed by Natalie Hallett (10-6).
Tameisha King posted her second consecutive long jump victory, taking the event title with a 5.83m (19-1 1/2).
Both Irish teams will return to action against Michigan State on Friday, Jan. 25, in the Loftus Sports Complex.