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ND Track & Field: Irish successful in Border Battle

Mike Monaco | Monday, April 16, 2012

In a battle between two states, the Irish helped lead Indiana over Kentucky.

On Saturday, the University of Louisville hosted the third-annual Texas Roadhouse Border Battle, where Notre Dame and Indiana made up team “Hoosier Land” and Kentucky and Louisville formed team “Commonwealth.” Both the Irish men and Irish women were able to carry team “Hoosier Land” to victory, as the men won 113-81, while the women prevailed by a single point, 101.5-100.5.

This was the second win in a row for “Hoosier Land”, as the Irish helped pull out a victory in the spring of 2011. Team “Commonwealth” claimed the first Border Battle in 2010.

“The whole point was the combined teams,” Irish coach Joe Piane said. “It led to two separate teams both getting a win, which is fun.”

Even though these teams were working together, the structure of the meet wasn’t able to quell the competitive nature between the intrastate rivals of Notre Dame and Indiana, Piane said.

“No doubt, there still is a lot of that competitive nature between the two teams,” Piane said. “But, still, it’s a very friendly type of competition.”

Saturday was a strong day for the Irish, as Notre Dame athletes won nine events.

“We had a lot of good things happen on both the women’s and the men’s side,” Piane said. “It went pretty well.”

The Irish women put forth an impressive outing, claiming six first-place finishes. Freshman Jade Barber won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.82 seconds. Junior Natalie Geiger won the 400-meter dash with a time of 55.89 seconds, while classmate Rebecca Tracy also took a first-place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:07.49.

The Irish also won the 400-meter hurdles, as sophomore Megan Yanik finished with a time of 1:00.43. Sophomore McKinzie Schulz rounded out the individual victories, as she crossed the finish line first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:31.14.

Additionally, the women’s 4×400-meter relay team took a victory for the Irish. The group, composed of Barber, Yanik, Gieger and sophomore Michelle Brown, finished first with a blazing time of 3:40.56.

The Notre Dame men had a strong showing as well, starting with the 4×400-meter relay. The group, comprised of freshman Chris Giesting, sophomore Patrick Feeney, junior Brendan Dougherty and senior Mitch Lorenz, won with a time of 3:11.30.

The Irish men also shone in the field events, where sophomore Andrew Brock won the shot put with a throw of 17.22 meters, and senior Kevin Schipper claimed yet another pole vault victory with a vault of 5.36 meters.

“All in all, our performance was good, but not great,” Piane said. ” We did have quite a few kids qualify for the Big East championships, which is very good.”

Getting athletes into the Big East meet and the NCAAs is always a goal for the Irish, as the end objective for the season is to shine in both meets, Piane said.

“Our goal is always those two meets,” Piane said. “We’ve had quite a few kids qualify for both over the last few weeks, so things are looking really good.”

The Irish will look to continue their pursuit of that goal when the team travels to Walnut, Calif., on April 18 to compete in the Mt. SAC Relays. The relays will take place all day.

Contact Aaron Sant-Miller at asantmil@nd.edu