Jan. 25, 2001
WHO: Notre Dame women’s track and field team, Michigan State
WHAT: Second meet of the 2001 indoor track and field schedule.
WHERE: Loftus Sports Complex, Notre Dame, Ind.
WHEN: Friday, Jan. 26, 6:00 p.m.
Team opens indoor season with a win over Ball State and Western Michigan:
In the first meet of the season on Jan. 19, the Irish showed signs of a strong season ahead as veteran team members and freshmen combined for a solid win complete with a new school record in the pole vault and an NCAA provisional qualifying performance.
Junior Natalie Hallett (Huntington Beach, Ca.) and freshman Jill VanWeelden (Scottsdale, Ariz.) pushed each other to new heights in the pole vault, and as both cleared the cross bar at 11-4 andearned a place in the Notre Dame record book by breaking teammate Jamie Volkmer’s (Kearney, Neb.) record of 11-0 3/4 set in the 1999-2000 season. Junior Liz Grow, (New Braunfels, Texas) reigning Big East Champion in the 400 meters and 1999 NCAA indoor championships qualifier, continued her domination of the event by winning in 54.61. Grow’s time qualifies her provisionally for the NCAA indoor championships, and is just off the 53.20 automatic standard. Grow also took the 200 meters in 24.49, a time better than her 1999-2000 season best of 24.74.
Demonstrating her versatility, sophomore All-American Tameisha King (Mableton, Ga.) came away with first place finishes in three events. King jumped 19-4 1/4 to win the long jump, an event she placed ninth in at the 2000 NCAA outdoor championships, and also picked up wins in the 60-meter dash in 7.70 and the 60-meter high hurdles in 8.63.
While the team may have had concerns about the high jump with the loss of All-American Jennifer Engelhart to graduation, the Irish showed no signs of weakness as freshman Jennifer Kearny (Dallas, Tx.) and Volkmer combined to take first and third, respectively. In her first collegiate meet, Kearney cleared 5-5, while sophomore Volkmer, the school record holder in the triple jump, jumped 5-2 1/2.
The Irish distance squad also turned in impressive opening meet performances, most notably in the 800 meters where the team had three of the top four finishers. Freshman Megan Johnson (Seattle, Wa.) earned her first collegiate victory with a time of 2:16.73, as senior teammate Leanne Brady (Trumball, Ct.) took second in 2:19.65 and sophomore Kristin Flood (Clive, Iowa) fourth. Sophomore Jenn Handley (Barrie, Ontario) had a good showing in the mile, placing second in 4:58.69. In the 3,000 meters, senior Chrissy Kuenster (Wheaton, Ill.) and sophomore Jennifer Fibuch stayed together throughout the race to finish second and third, respectively, to add points toward the Irish victory.
Other competitiors contributing to the win include junior Amanda Alvarez, (Ogden, Utah) second in the 500 meters in a time of 1:16.83, freshman Kristin Dodd, (Toledo, Ohio)second in the 60 meters in 8.83 and third in the 400 meters, and junior Bethany Wilson (San Rafael, Ca.) third in the pole vault at 10-6. Senior Emily Bienko (Tranquility, NJ) placed fourth in the shot put with a toss of 39-9 1/4.