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Track & Field: Squad faces tough competition

Matthew Robison | Monday, February 8, 2010

The Irish came into the Meyo Invitational this weekend looking to add more names to the Big East and NCAA Championships qualifying list, which has grown with every meet. To do so, they had to compete against the strongest competition that they have faced so far in 2010. Despite the stiff competition, the Irish succeeded in their goal.

Over the two-day meet, held at the Loftus Sports Center, the Irish were continually pinned against the nation’s top athletes from the likes of Michigan State, Illinois, Ohio State, Louisville, Alabama, Michigan and Marquette.

Freshman Nevada Sorenson qualified for the NCAA Championships with a 60-meter hurdles time of 8.41. Sophomore Jack Howard ran the nation’s fourth-fastest 800-meter time at 1:48.60, an NCAA provisional qualifying time. The women’s distance medley relay team finished third and qualified for the NCAA Championships with a time of 11:24.87. The top three times all qualified teams for the Championships.

The men’s weight throw squad had a good showing, with junior Justin Belcher finishing fourth with a throw of 18.71 meters, just ahead of junior Greg Davis who had a throw of 18.26 meters. Junior Denes Veres finished ninth with a throw of 17.67 meters.

In the women’s 400-meter race, senior standout Joanna Schultz finished second at 53.36 seconds, narrowly missing the title. Schultz had already qualified for the NCAA Championships with a previous performance.

In the men’s mile, sophomore Johnathan Shawel finished fifth at 4:07.65. Freshman Jeremy Rae finished sixth with a time of 4:08.02

On the women’s side of the mile, junior Marissa Treece finished third with a time of 4:47.99 and freshman Rebecca Tracy finished sixth. Tracy also won the 1000-meter race Friday.
Competitors also posted record times at the meet. Alabama’s Kirani James set the current world’s fastest 400-meter time at 45.79 seconds. In the women’s pole vault, Purdue’s Brianna Neumann broke the Meyo record.

In the “Meyo mile,” an event known to record some of the fastest times of the indoor track season, Ohio State’s Jeff See ran the second-fastest collegiate mile time at 3:58.82.  This race was separate from the men’s mile.

The Irish will have next weekend off as they prepare for the Big East indoor championships in New York on Feb. 20-21.