NOTRE DAME, Ind. — In the final home meet of the year, the Irish distance medley relay combined for a time of 9:26.10 to set a program record and the nation-leading time this season. Their finish was just 0.12 seconds off the NCAA record and earned them the second-best time ever recorded in the NCAA.
Three other Irish records were set this afternoon in the weight throw competition. Rachel Tanczos broke the school record when she threw for 20.12m, a record that stood for two rounds before Abbey Kapitan fired one 20.13m to just edge out Tanczos. Logan Kusky also broke his own record on the men’s side when his throw traveled 21.13m. The record setting performance marked his third in the weight throw over the last four meets.
“As we close in on the ACC Championship next week, we are starting to see people step and assert themselves as people we can count on,” Hatherly-Piane Head Coach Matt Sparks said.
In The Field
Logan Kusky once again led the men’s weight throw when he finished with a throw of 21.13m. The new program record was a personal best for Kusky, having broken the previous team best he set last week at Clemson. In the women’s weight throw, Abbey Kapitan and Rachel Tanczos both earned career-high marks while placing second and third overall.
“Our throwers continue to improve week after week. Logan Kusky has been a solid conference level thrower for a couple of years but his weight throw today will start to draw some national attention,” Sparks added. “Abbey Kapitan and Rachel Tanczos continue to push each other as they took turns breaking the school record today in the weight throw.”
Osy Ekwueme won the men’s triple jump for the Irish, launching 13.17m on his first attempt for the top spot of the day.
The Irish swept the pole vault competition, finishing first in both the men’s and women’s events with McKenna Caskey recording a height of 3.50m and Colton Crum vaulted 4.75m in the air.
Newcomer Sam Grewe earned a third place finish in the men’s high jump with a vertical of 1.85m. Emma Bzik took the bronze in the women’s event with her best height of 1.60m.
Having qualified for the 60m hurdle finals earlier in the day, Madysen Hunter finished second in the final heat with a time of 8.69 seconds.
The women claimed the top spot in the 60m dash with Shae Douglas leading the group as she crossed the line in 7.67 seconds for the top spot. Michaela Butler followed in third with a time of 7.70.
Troy Pride Jr. earned second in the 60m dash, sprinting to the finish in 6.81 seconds and first for the Blue and Gold.
Going The Distance
The much anticipated distance medley relay competed at the Alex Wilson Invitational and exceeded expectations. The men won the event, posting a 2018-19 NCAA leading time of 9:26.10. Their time shattered both the Notre Dame and track records while coming just 0.12 seconds shy of the NCAA record. With their finish, the relay team comprised of Dylan Jacobs, Edward Cheatham, Samuel Voelz and Yared Nuguse own the second best finish in the NCAA all-time.
“Our men’s distance medley relay really stepped into the spotlight,” he went on. “Last year we shocked a lot of people with our NCAA runner-up finish. This performance today should establish our DMR as a mainstay on the National scene. Coach Carlson and Coach Pate had those 4 guys really ready to go.”
As the day progressed, the Irish finished two women in the top-five of the 3K race. A pair of sophomores finished near each other in the race as Kelly Koehnen crossed the line third followed by MaryClare Leonard in fourth.
In the men’s 3K, Zach kreft led a trio of Irish men to a top-five finish as he posted the best time of the race (8:13.69) for first overall. Brendan Fraser (8:15.31) came in third while Bradley Wattleworth (8:15.47) finished shortly behind him for fourth overall.
The Irish will travel to Blacksburg, Virginia next to compete at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships February 21-23.