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Track and Field: Six runners post top times

Megan Finneran | Monday, April 12, 2010

The Irish came out of the Border Battle “Kentuckiana” event this weekend with an impressive six first places and 35 top times and distances, living up to the high standards they set two weeks ago at the Mike Poehlein Invitational at Purdue, where they finished with 23 top-five finishes and four first places.
Notre Dame and Indiana paired up with Indiana University to take on a University of Louisville/University of Louisville team to make it Hoosierland vs. The Commonwealth at the Louisville-hosted meet.
The Irish saw first place finishes from sophomore Molly Hirt, who went 17:06.71 in the women’s 5,000-meter race, freshman Nevada Sorenson with a time of 13.67 seconds in the women’s 100-meter hurdles, senior Joanna Schultz, who ran the women’s 400-meter race in 59.29 seconds, senior Elise Knutzen in the women’s javelin with a throw of 42.09 meters, senior Matt Schipper in the men’s pole vault at 5.00 meters and junior Justin Schneider in the men’s javelin at 51.41 meters.
Hirt’s first place finish was her first in the event, as she often runs the 1500-meter race. The longer distance didn’t prove to be too much of a challenge for her though, especially with help from some friends cheering her on.
“The thing I really did differently for this race was that I focused a lot on trying to relax and be patient,” Hirt said. “My teammates were great and helped a lot throughout the race. It was great to help score some points for Hoosierland.”
Knutzen was also pleased with the meet’s results, coming out with a positive outlook for upcoming competition.
“It’s always fun to win, but I mostly focus on my goals and how far I can throw each day,” she said. “I’m just trying to build on each meet to get ready for Big East and Regionals.”
The Irish women had five top-three finishes, making a large impact for the team, but not enough to overcome the Kentucky teams, who won 103-99.
Juniors Kelly Langhans and Natalie Johnson took second and third in the women’s 800-meter race, finishing almost one-tenth of a second apart at 2:10.01 and 2:10.12, respectively. Freshman Rebecca Tracy came in second in the women’s 1500-meter race at 4:20.18, only one-one hundredth of a second behind the winner, Indiana’s Molly Beckwith. Junior Kali Watkins followed teammate Sorenson closely in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing third at 14.00. On the field, junior Jasmine Williams took third place in the triple jump at 11.60 meters.
The Irish men also had five top-three finishes in various events. Sophomore Jack Howard and junior Kevin Labus came in within one hundredth of each other in the men’s 800-meter, taking second and third at 1:50.94 and 1:50.95. Senior Daniel Clark took third in the men’s 1500-meter at 3:45.24, junior Denes Veres took second in the men’s shot put at 17.39 meters and sophomore Mitchell Gormley took third in the men’s hammer throw at 54.47 meters.
The Irish continue this week with a busy schedule, heading to Walnut, Calif., for the Mt. SAC Relays, West Lafayette for the Purdue Rankin Invitational and to Austin, Texas, for the Texas Twilight.