April 10, 2002

Complete Release in PDF Format, which includes and order of events for the Tom Botts Invitational
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2002 Tom Botts Invitational * Columbia, MO * Saturday, April 13

Notre Dame track and field teams continue solid outdoor season at Missouri University’s Tom Botts Invitational on Saturday:

With the lone home meet of the season behind them, the University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams set their sights on even more NCAA Championship qualifying times at the Tom Botts Invitational in Columbia, Mo., this weekend.

A large Irish contingent will make the trip to the Tom Botts on Saturday, April 13. The meet will run all day, with field events beginning at 9 a.m. and running events at 11:30 a.m.

Entering competition this weekend, both Irish teams have combined for eight qualifying times that show up on the NCAA 2002 performance list for the upcoming indoor championship meet in Baton Rouge, La., on May 29.

A look back at the 2002 indoor season:

Even though the Irish are currently concentrating on the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the latest issue of Track and Field News gave both Notre Dame teams a chance to remember their 2002 indoor season.

Senior All-American Ryan Shay’s 13:46.80 5,000-meter time from the 2002 Meyo Invitational ended up as the fourth-fastest time in the world, according to Track and Field News. The magazine also ranked the top 4×400 women’s relays, and the Irish team’s time of 3:35.38 puts them in eighth place in the world rankings, behind Russia, South Carolina, Texas, Belarus, Poland, the Glasgow All-Stars and LSU.

A look ahead to the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Championships:

Seven different Irish athletes and one relay team have put themselves in position for spots in the 2002 NCAA Championship in Baton Rouge, La., on May 29. Defending 10,000 meter National Champion Ryan Shay leads the list with the top time in the nation so far in his signature event. Shay’s 28:39.43 10,000-meter time from the Stanford Invitational (3-29) puts the Irish distance star on pace to repeat his title.

Sophomore Todd Mobley is hoping to join Shay in the 10,000 meter field. While Shay’s time is an automatic qualifier, Mobley’s 29:11.35 is a provisional time but is ranked 18th in the nation as of April 10.

Senior All-American Luke Watson has assured himself a spot in the NCAA meet in the 5,000 meters. Watson set the school record in the event at the Stanford Invitational with a 13:44.92 effort. Watson’s automatic qualifying time is currently the fourth-best in the nation. In 2000, Watson competed in the steeplechase during the NCAA Championship meet.

The women’s team is poised to send four individuals and one relay team to the national meet, with many more qualifying times possible from the 2002 BIG EAST Indoor Championship winning squad. The Notre Dame team was represented in four events in the 1999 and 2000 NCAA outdoor meets.

Ayesha Boyd, possibly the most improved athlete in the program this season, is currently ninth in the country with a 23.60 effort in the 200 meters. The automatic time for the field is 23.10.

Indoor All-American Liz Grow is looking to run in her fifth career NCAA meet, as the senior is seventh in the nation for the 400 meters. Her 53.61 from the Baldy Castillo Invitational on March 23, leaves room for improvement, as Grow’s personal best (and school record) effort in the event is 52.40.

Freshman cross country All-American Lauren King is hoping to go three for three in possible NCAA Championship meets after competing in the 2000 NCAA Cross Country Championship and 2002 NCAA Indoor Championship (mile run) eariler this season. King’s 4:22.89 time in the 1500 meters from the Stanford Invitational is currently the fifth-best in the nation this year and just off the automatic qualifying time (4:19.00).

Jennifer Handley was the fifth Irish track and field distance athlete to run an impressive time at the Stanford Invitational on March 30. Her 16:28.55 time in the 5,000 meters is currently ranked ninth in the nation and is more than 11 seconds under Handley’s previous personal best.

The women’s relay teams are also hoping to make a trip to the NCAA Championship meet this season. After running consideration times in the 4×100 and 4×400 relays last season, but just missing out on making the field, the combination of Liz Grow, Ayesha Boyd, Kristen Dodd and Tameisha King have the 4×100 team ranked eighth in the nation with a 44.70 time.

Tom Botts Invitational information: The Notre Dame men’s and women’s teams will make the trip to Columbia, Mo., for this weekend’s Tom Botts Invitational. The meet will be scored and features the host team Missouri, Iowa State, Arkansas State and Notre Dame.

Results will be available on www.mutigers.com and a recap of the meet will be on www.und.com.