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Track: Irish win 12 events at home

Rich Hidy | Monday, January 21, 2013

The Irish had a field day in the Notre Dame Invitational on Saturday at the Loftus Center, as the men’s team finished second in the tournament and the women won the event.

The Irish competed against three other teams: South Florida, DePaul and Michigan State. The main purpose of the meet was to identify qualifiers for the Big East Championships, as Notre Dame’s top athletes looked to beat the standards needed to secure a spot in next month’s title meet.

The Irish women scored 193 points, outscoring the second-place finishers by 36 points. Junior Michelle Brown won the 400 meter race and senior Rebecca Tracy won the 3,000 meter event, bringing in big point totals for Notre Dame on their way to victory.

The men’s team finished with 175 total points, missing out on first at the hands of Michigan State by seven points. Freshman Michael Clevenger won the mile on the men’s side. Junior Patrick Feeney also won the 400 meter race and junior Jerrod Buchanon won the 60 meter hurdles. Both of Buchanon’s victories qualified for the Big East Championships. Sophomore Chris Giesting had the best individual performance, taking first in the 200 meter, 500 meter and 1600-meter relay.

Bolstered by strong finishes at the Invitational, both teams have a very positive outlook on the season as they advance into the meat of their schedules.

“This is a good start to a relatively short season,” freshman sprinter Josh O’Brien said. “The goal is to run in the Big East and then hopefully at nationals, and we seemed to take the right step to accomplish that goal today.”

The Irish will be on the road next weekend in Bloomington, Ind., when they take on a multitude of different schools in the Indiana Relays.

“Next week is huge for us. This will be the second away competition at IU,” senior pole vaulter Chrissy Finkel said. “It was a great meet overall but we need improved performances from everyone and we all have to be on our ‘A-game.'”

Contact Rich Hidy at rhidy@nd.edu