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Men’s Track and Field: Team finishes second in attempt to defend title

Joe Wirth | Monday, February 21, 2011

The Irish failed to defend their 2010 Big East title this past weekend, placing second at the Big East Championships held in Akron, Ohio.

Connecticut took the championship with 136.75 points The Irish did not repeat their indoor championship run of the last year, but their second place finish with 132 points was still very impressive.

One of the bright spots in Notre Dame’s performance was in the 4×800-meter relay. With a team comprised of seniors Kevin Labus and Jack Howard, junior Johnathan Shawel and sophomore Jeremy Rae, the Irish set Big East and track records with their 7:25.31 time — the fastest posted time in the nation this year in the event.

After the record-setting relay, the Irish pulled to within six points of the Huskies and were poised to take over the lead with only the 4×400- meter relay remaining on the race slate. The Irish earned five points out of the race, but Connecticut registered 3.75 points — enough for them to clinch the championship.

Despite not winning the indoor championships, the Irish still won many Big East titles and earned multiple all-Big East honors throughout the season.

The Irish excelled in the 1,000-meter event, registering the top two finishers. Shawel crossed the finish line first with a time of 2:26.94 and junior Jordan Carlson, who also earned an all-Big East selection, came across less than one second later with a time of 2:27.47.

Freshman Patrick Feeney won the Big East title in the 400-meter dash, registering a time of 48.11. Feeney had to hold off Villanova sophomore Carlton Bowers down the stretch to take home the crown.

Senior Denes Veres was all-Big East in the shotput with a throw of 17.33 meters. This all-Big East selection is the sixth such honors Veres has earned in his four years in South Bend.

The Irish will be in action next at home for the Alex Wilson Invitational Friday and Saturday.