Feb. 16, 2002
Syracuse, N.Y. – The Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams are in second place after day one of the 2002 BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field Championships in Syracuse, N.Y. The Notre Dame men, behind senior Ryan Shay’s victory in the 5,000 meters, finished the day with 33 points. Connecticut leads the men’s competition with 44 points. In the women’s event, Notre Dame has 32.5 points. West Virginia is in first place with 42 points.
Shay, the 2001 NCAA Champion in the outdoor 5,000 meters, automatically qualified today for the NCAA Championships in the 5,000 in claiming his second consecutive BIG EAST title. Shay’s time of 14:15.57, bettered Georgetown’s Kyle Smits by over four seconds (14:19.67). Notre Dame’s David Alber was third (14:21.45), while Todd Mobley was fifth in 14:23.00.
Other outstanding performances for the Irish today on the men’s side included Tom Gilbert, who was second in the long jump with a leap of 23-5 1/2 feet. Georgetown’s Josh Rollins claimed the crown with a jump of 24-2 1/4. Notre Dame also finished four in the distance medley relay with a time of 10:06.15. Villanova was first in 9:47.11.
On the women’s side, Betsy Lazzeri finished third in a tight pentathlon race as only 83 points separated the top three places. Seton Hall’s Bridgette Ingram was first with 3,593 points, followed by Miami’s Amber Williams (3,511 points). Jamie Volkmer provisionally qualified for the NCAA meet, placing second in the pole vault with a jump of 12-5 1/2 feet.
Other strong finishers for the women included Jennifer Handley, who was fourth in the 5,000 meters in a time of 17:01.74, and Tameisha King, who also was fourth in the long jump with an NCAA provisional qualifying leap of 20-2 1/2 feet.
Notre Dame also had a number of qualifiers for tomorrow’s finals including senior Liz Grow, who was the top qualifier in the 500 meters, setting a school record with a time of 1:12.35, besting the old record of 1:12.68 set by Nadia Schmiedt in 1998. On the men’s side, freshman Selim Nurdeen was the top qualifier in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.02.
The 2002 BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field Championships conclude on Sunday.
Note: For full results, please see www.bigeast.org