April 5, 2001
Notre Dame, Western Michigan and Miami (Ohio)
The 2001 Spring Opener
Moose Krause Stadium, Notre Dame, Ind.
Saturday, April 7, 9 a.m.
Irish enjoy a solid first weekend of outdoor competition and look forward to Spring Opener on Saturday:
The University of Notre Dame women’s track and field team is preparing for its first and only home outdoor track meet of this season after an impressive first weekend of competition at three different venues. The Spring Opener is set for Saturday, April 7, at 9 a.m., at Moose Krause Stadium on the Notre Dame campus.
The Irish competed in three different meets last weekend and each group represented themselves well – posting a number of times that rank highly in the BIG EAST Conference. Junior Liz Grow (New Braunfels, Texas), who earned indoor All-American honors in the 400 meters, continued to shine in the sprint lanes. Her 11.91 time in the 100 meters, run at the Arizona State Invitational last weekend, was a personal best. She was also just off her personal best (23.77) in the 200 meters, running a 23.86. Her 200 time is the best in the BIG EAST Conference so far this season and her 100-meter time ranks fourth.
Notre Dame has also displayed some talented depth across all the different sprint events last weekend. Ayesha Boyd’s (Spartanburg, SC) 12.11 time in the 100 meters is sixth in the conference and her 200 time of 24.81 is fourth. Kristen Dodd’s (Toledo, Ohio) 24.71 200-meter time is third in the conference and Kymia Love’s (Memphis, Tenn.) 55.06 in the 400 meters was a personal best.
The Irish pole vault group, which helped Notre Dame score valuable meet points during the indoor season, kept its string of impressive performances alive last weekend. Jamie Volkmer (Kearney, Neb.) cleared 11-5 3/4 at the Arizona State Invitational, a mark that is ranked first in the BIG EAST. Right behind Volkmer is teammate Natalie Hallett (Huntington Beach, Calif.), with a height of 11-3 3/4, which is second in the conference. Freshman Jill VanWeelden (Scottsdale, Ariz.) continued her solid rookie campaign into the outdoor season, posting a 10-11 3/4 jump at the ASU Invite.
Junior Dore DeBartolo (Aurora, Ill.) returned to the throws group after sitting out for the indoor season with an injury and made her presence felt immediately. DeBartolo tossed three BIG EAST qualifying marks in the shot put (45-8), hammer (171-0) and discus (143-11) in her first weekend of competition in over a year. Her hammer throw mark is the second-best in the conference so far this season while her shot put mark is fifth.
The Irish qualified two runners for the BIG EAST 10,000 meter championship last weekend. Senior Chrissy Kuenster (Wheaton, Ill.) made the most of her trip to the Stanford Invitational, finishing the 10,000 meters in 36:26.01, a time ranked second in the conference. Freshman Julia Schmidt (Oakland, Mich.) also qualified for the BIG EAST meet in 38:24.46.
Sophomore Jennifer Handley (Barrie, Ontario) has the fifth-best time in the conference in the 5,0000 meters after her 17:10.77 time at the Stanford Invite. Jennifer Fibuch (Leawood, Kan.), Katie Ellgass (South Bend, Ind.), Muffy Schmidt (Miles City, Mon.) and Bridget O’Brien (Bloomington, Minn.) also posted a BIG EAST qualifying times in the 5,000 meters.
A look back at the 2000 Spring Opener:
Tameisha King (Mableton, Ga.), Liz Grow and Jaime Volkmer were all multiple winners at last season’s Spring Opener. Grow won the 200 and 400 meters, King placed first in the 100 hurdles, 100 meters and the long jump, and Volkmer captured first in the triple jump and pole vault. Dore DeBartolo also will attempt to defend her shot put and hammer throw victories from last year this weekend and Andre Duplechain (Port Barre, La.) will hope to repeat her javelin victory.