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Team posts 41 top-10 marks

Bill Brink | Monday, April 23, 2007

Four Notre Dame athletes won their respective events and 41 placed in the top-10 this weekend as the team – spread from Michigan to Oregon – headed toward the end of the regular season before the Big East championships.

Some team members competed in the Oregon Invitational and others made the trip to the Central Collegiate championship in Ypsilanti, Mich. It was in Michigan that the Irish had the most success; the men’s and women’s teams both came in third place overall.

Freshman Eric Quick won the long jump with a leap of 6.97 meters. Usually a triple-jumper, Quick was nervous about competing in long jump, but said both he and his coach were confident.

“We were hoping for the best, and it ended up working out,” he said. “I worked on a little bit of technical stuff throughout the week and ended up pulling through at the meet.”

With his jump, Quick set a new season-best distance, which in track can prove very helpful.

“It’s a huge aspect of competition,” he said. “If you go out and improve, it motivates you to go to the next meet and just do better.”

Quick is currently just under 40 centimeters short of qualifying for the NCAA Mideast Regionals, something he hopes to achieve at the Big East championships.

Junior Kyle Annen won the hammer by throwing for a distance of 56.88 meters. Senior Garet Koxlien finished fourth, throwing for 53.92 meters.

Junior Jake Watson won the 5,000 meters, finishing with a time of 14:51.95. Junior Mike Popejoy came in third with a time of 15:06.30.

To round out the first-place finishers, freshman Elise Knutzen won the javelin throw with a distance of 39.63 meters.

Sophomore Anna Weber finished second in both the hammer and the shot put. She threw for 14.20 meters in the shot put, setting a new personal-best distance for the second week in a row.

“If you can keep progressing each meet, you know if you’re getting second now that there’s a first in your future,” Weber said. “You always keep looking towards that and you always keep looking towards the Big East meet.”

She threw for 53.46 meters in the hammer. Although she has thrown shot put since high school, she puts most of her work in practice into the hammer.

“Hammer’s my new event, so in practice you just kind of concentrate on the new,” she said. “I don’t know. It just seems natural to me, I guess.”

Junior Brienne Davis placed second in the 100-meter dash, crossing the line in 12.68 seconds. Senior Ann Mazar took second in the 5,000 meters, finishing in 18:32.43.

Sophomore Lauren Bascardi tied for second in the high jump, clearing a height of 1.63 meters. Sophomore Becca Bauman capped the second-place finishers for the Irish, running 11:24 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Junior Liz Philipp came in third in the event, running 11:30.41.

Out in Oregon, freshman Jaclyn Espinoza took third in the discus with a throw of 146 feet 9 inches. Junior Jake Watson took sixth in the first section of the 1,500 meters, finishing in 3:43.59.

Senior Kurt Benninger and sophomore Patrick Smyth finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the second section of the 1,500 meters. Benniger finished in 3:47.07, with Smyth right behind him at 3:47.15.

Senior Todd Ptacek finished sixth in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, ending with a time of 8:49.55. Senior Thomas Chamney also took sixth in the 800 meters, finishing with a time of 1:49.67.