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Track and Field: ND athletes dominate at Blue and Gold Invite

Casey Karnes | Monday, December 9, 2013


Notre Dame opened up their season with a dominating effort in the Blue & Gold Invitational on Friday, winning 25 of 33 events at Loftus Sports Center.

Other than Notre Dame, only DePaul and Marquette were able to claim victories in multiple events, with three and two wins, respectively.

Irish coach Joe Piane singled out the 400-meter runners as standouts for Notre Dame. On the female side, sophomore Margaret Bamgbose paced the group with a time of 54.32, and senior Michelle Brown was close behind with a 55.07 second place finish. The Irish also finished one-two in the male 400, with senior Patrick Feeney and junior Chris Giesting leading the field with times of 46.67 and 47 seconds, respectively. But Piane said one performance in particular impressed him the most.

“The person who may have had the best evening of all was junior Keith Mesidor,” Piane said. “He won the 60 (6.90 seconds), he won the 200 (21.88 seconds), and he won the long jump (7.37 meters). That’s a pretty good start.”

Freshman Harvey Smith finished second to Mesidor in the 200, and in the long jump senior Logan Renwick and junior Carson Barnes rounded out a top-three sweep for the Irish. According to Piane, the Notre Dame’s runner-up finishes are equally as important as their victories, as it demonstrates the team’s depth.

“Not only did we had a lot of kids win, but we had seconds, we had thirds,” Piane said. “You look at the women’s 400 and the men’s 400, they were very deep. We’ve always had a couple hurdlers do well. So it wasn’t just one person … the competition may not have been the strongest, but it indicated we have a very deep team.”

The Irish further showed their depth by taking the top three spots in the women’s pole vault, with senior Kelly Burke’s 3.60-meter vault narrowly edging out sophomores Libby Schichtel and Allie Sullivan. A top-two finish in the men’s 1,000-meter was made more impressive because both runners were freshmen, and Piane said he is excited to see what both runners do the rest of the season.

“In the men’s 1,000, you had Jake Dumford (2:26.95) win it, and Chris Marco (2:26.98) was second, and the difference was just three hundredths of a second.” Piane said. “Those kids ran very, very well, and the future is very bright for them. So those two would probably be the most impressive freshmen.”

Even after this successful meet however, Piane said the team cannot afford to relax. He said the upcoming Christmas break would be a critical time for the Irish to focus on improving.

“We just have to keep on training,” Piane said. “The next six weeks are going to be vital, between now and when we get back from Christmas break. This is going to be a very difficult time, because, frankly, they’re gone.”

Notre Dame’s next meet will be Jan. 18th, the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich.