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MEN’S TRACK: ND starts off season on right foot Saturday

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The men’ track and field team’s home opener proved to be a showcase for the many superb athletes on the Fighting Irish squad. Competing against runners from Michigan State, Western Michigan, Loyola-Chicago and Hillsdale College, the Irish showed signs of good things to come.

The meet, a non-scoring event, was highlighted by the performance of senior Selim Nurudeen, certainly no stranger to the spotlight. Nurudeen took home first-place finishes in the 60-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the 60-meter hurdles. Nurudeen and sophomore Tommie Lee combined to be a formidable 1-2 punch, as Lee finished right behind Nurudeen in the 60 and 200-meter dashes.

Several freshmen made impressive contributions in the meet, with Brett Adams winning the 800-meters in 1 minute, 54.19 seconds, just one-hundredth of a second in front of fellow freshman Jake Watson. Other stellar freshman performers included Robert Kueny, who won the 400-meter dash in 50.13 and Austin Wecther, winner of the 500-meter dash in 1:04.62.

Sophomore Kurt Benninger won the mile in a time of 4:11.21. Afterward he was pleased both with his performance and that of his teammates.

“It was a good first meet for the distance runners, and a good chance to see where we’re at; also got to work on a few things race-wise,” Benninger said.

He was also optimistic for the indoor season.

“It’s shaping up pretty well,” he said. “The Meyo Invitational is in two weeks. Our biggest home meet of the season before the Big East.”

Complementing the performance if the Irish on the track were the noteworthy marks set by Notre Dame’s field squad, which contributed four first-place finishes to the meet. Chip Roberts won the weight throw at 16.87m, and Chris Staron cleared 2.01m to take the high jump. Justin Oppel won the pole vault at a height of 4.65m, and Michael Schubert was the victor of the shot put, with a throw of 14.76m.

The Irish will compete at home Saturday in the Notre Dame Invitational.