March 3, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams have begun competition in the Alex Wilson Invitational, set to run both Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4. It is a final chance for athletes to qualify for a place in the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., March 10 and 11.
The first day of competition was highlighted by the Notre Dame men’s distance medley team. Seniors Chris Cochran (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Phil Mishka (Toledo, Ohio), and Tim Kober (Gillette, N.J.) along with sophomore Luke Watson (Stillwater, Minn.), ran a stellar race. Their 9:39.40 time qualifies provisionally for the NCAA championship meet, ties the Notre Dame school record, and is the second fastest time in the nation this season.
Cross country All-American junior Ryan Shay (Central Lake, Mich.) also qualified provisionally for the NCAAs with a 14:08.31 time in a highly competitive men’s 5,000 meter competition that saw five runners finish under the 14:18.15 provisional time. It was Shay’s career best indoor time in the event, besting his 14:13.88 time run at the 1999 Alex Wilson Invitational.
Senior Matt Thompson (Granite Bay, Calif.) broke his own school record in the men’s 35 lb. weight throw with his 61-3 first place effort. Thompson was an all-BIG EAST performer at the conference championships two week ago.
The action continues tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., highlighted by the “Alex Wilson 800” which features some of the top middle distance runners in the nation. There were nine provisional times or marks achieved on the first day of competition, with more likely as athletes from over 40 different schools take one last attempt at a spot in the NCAA championship meet.