March 21, 2002

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2002 Baldy Castillo Invitational

Sun Angel Stadium

Tempe, Ariz.

Friday, March 22 – Saturday, March 23

Irish teams ready to start the 2002 outdoor season:

The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams head off to Tempe, Ariz., this weekend to compete in the Baldy Castillo Track & Field Invitational. The meet features short-distance and field events and has been a traditional first-stop for the beginning of the Notre Dame outdoor season. The Irish hope to showcase their talent as a number of top runners travel to Sun Angel Stadium and the Joe Selleh Track on the campus of Arizona State University for the competition.

Senior sprinter Liz Grow will lead the Irish women’s team, as she is coming off a strong showing at the recent NCAA indoor meet (placing fourth in the finals of the 400 meters and winning her preliminary heat). Grow boasts a first-place finish in the 100 meters at last year’s Baldy Castillo meet, as well as second place in the 200 meters. Teammate Kymia Love won the 400 meters last year, capturing first with a time of 55.06. She has since improved on that time during the indoor season, clocking in at 54.23 at the Meyo Invitational in February. The powerhouse team of Grow, Love, and sophomores Kristen Dodd and Ayesha Boyd could prove to be tough competition in the 100, 200, and 400 meter races, as well as the subsequent relay races.

Tamiesha King and freshman standout Tiffany Gunn will be the duo to beat in the hurdles this weekend, as both will most likely compete in the 100-meter high hurdles. King placed third in the high hurdles last year, along with winning the long jump event with a score of 19-11 3/4. Jaime Volkmer hopes to reclaim her first-place title in the pole vault competition, with teammate Jill Van Weelden similarly holding a third-place finish to her name.

The top mid-distance runners on both rosters will hopefully come through for the Irish this weekend, led by senior Pat Conway. Conway, a 2001 All-American cross-country runner, will most likely compete along with Kevin Somok and Eric Morrison in the 1500 meters event. Somok took third place last year with a time of 3:52.68. Derek Dyer will compete in both the shot put and the discus events, in which he finished fifth and third place, respectively, at last year’s competition. The senior has had a strong indoor season, finishing 10th in the BIG EAST Championship’s shot-put event.

Freshman Dwight Ellick has proven to be the top Irish men’s sprinter to beat this season, and along with teammates Jason Beckstrom, Ryan Hurd, and Tom Gilbert hopes to post winning times in the 100 and 200 meters. Also watch for freshman standout Selim Nurudeen, who has been the major contributor to Irish hurdles victories this season. Rounding out the traveling team is junior Mike Madigan, who will enter the javelin competition after a sixth-place finish last year. Madigan then went on to take first-place at the Notre Dame Spring Opener and competed in the 2001 BIG EAST Championships.

The 18 Irish athletes will compete on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23. The meet will be held at the Sun Angel Track & Field Stadium at Arizona State University.

Meet information:

Participating schools – Arizona State, Central Arizona, Dartmouth, Idaho, Indiana, Louisville (women only), Manhatten College, Minnesota (men only), Northern Arizona, Notre Dame, Quest Club (Pheonix – women), UC Santa Barbara, Utah State, Washington State and Western State (Colorado).

Results – Results will be available after each day of competition on There is no team scoring at the meet this weekend.

Notre Dame participants – Ayesha Boyd, Kristen Dodd, Liz Grow, Tiffany Gunn, Tameisha King, Kymia Love, Jill VanWeelden, Jamie Volkmer, Jason Beckstrom, Pat Conway, Derek Dyer, Dwight Ellick, Tom Gilbert, Ryan Hurd, Mike Madigan, Eric Morrison, Selim Nurudeen, Kevin Somok.