Feb. 17, 2002
Syracuse, N.Y. – Although the Irish women did not win a single event, Notre Dame won its first ever BIG EAST title today at the 2002 BIG EAST Track and Field Championships in Syracuse, N.Y. Notre Dame finished with 112 points, just outscoring runner up Georgetown, who finished the meet with 110 points. Miami was third with 106 points, followed by Seton Hall with 95 points and West Virginia with 68.
Prior to today’s championship, Notre Dame’s best-ever women’s finish was third in 1999. Last season, the women finished seventh. For their efforts, Notre Dame head coach Joe Piane and assistants Tim Connelly, John Millar and Scott Windsor were named the 2002 BIG EAST Women’s Coaching Staff of the Year.
The Irish women used a balanced attack in claiming the title, earning three second-place finishes and two third places. After setting the school record in the 500 yesterday, senior Liz Grow bettered that mark in finishing second. Grow’s time of 1:11.65, bettered her qualifying time of 1:12.35. Junior Kymia Lova was second in the 400 meter dash with a time of 55.58, while Ayesha Boyd ran an NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 200 meters, finishing second in 24.00, Love tied the Notre Dame school record held by Grow with her run.
Other outstanding performers for the Irish included freshman Emily Loomis in the high jump, who was third with a leap of 5-8, and Boyd in the 60-meter dash, who was also third with another NCAA provisional time of 7.44. The 4×400 relay team of Love, Kristen Dodd, Boyd and Grow was third with an NCAA provisional time of 3:41.19.
The men’s squad, behind two victories by senior Ryan Shay, finished third with 101.75 points. Connecticut won the team title with 136.5, followed by Villanova at 125, the Irish, Georgetown (90 points) and Seton Hall (66).
Senior Ryan Shay won his second event of the weekend in leading a 1-2 Irish finish in the 3,000 meters. Shay just edged out fellow senior Luke Watson, winning in a time of 8:09.42. Watson was second in 8:12.44. On Saturday, Shay won the 5,000 meters with an NCAA provisional time of 14:15.57.
Other outstanding performers for the Irish men included: freshman Selim Nurudeen, who was third in the 60 hurdles (8:08), freshman Dwight Ellick, who finished third in the 60 dash (6.88) and third in the 200 meters (21.61), Watson, who was third in the mile (4:07.15) and Christopher Staron in the high jump (6-7).
The Irish continue their indoor season when they host the Alex Wilson Invitational on Friday-Saturday, March 1-2 at the Loftus Sports Center, before traveling to the NCAA Championships Friday-Saturday, March 8-9 in Fayetteville, Ark.
Note: Complete results are available on www.bigeast.org.