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Track and Field

Irish throwers shine at Alex Wilson Invitational

| Monday, February 20, 2017

A week before the ACC indoor championships, Notre Dame picked up some much-needed momentum this weekend at the Alex Wilson Invitational.

The Irish saw six first-place finishes and 22 personal records Saturday inside Loftus Sports Center. Hosting and competing against athletes from 32 teams across the country, Notre Dame and Irish head coach Alan Turner viewed the meet as a tuneup for the ACC championships, as the Irish held out many of their top performers.

Irish junior runner Jessica Harris competes during the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 4 at Loftus Sports Complex. Harris won the mile event at the Alex Wilson invitational on Saturday.Emmet Farnan | The Observer

Irish junior runner Jessica Harris competes during the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 4 at Loftus Sports Complex. Harris won the mile event at the Alex Wilson invitational on Saturday.

“The people who did compete today did very well,” Turner said. “The throwers in particular have been pretty consistent all year, and they had a very good day again today.”

The throwers did have a strong showing at the Alex Wilson Invitational. The men’s shot put saw three personal records from underclassmen, as freshman Logan Kusky finished in second with a throw of 16.37 meters, with sophomore Daniel Hardiman (16.33 meters) and freshman Shae Watkins (15.97 meters) right behind him in third and fourth, respectively.

On the women’s side of the shot put, senior Indi Jackson made a statement by breaking the indoor school record in the event with her throw of 16.23 meters — earning second place in the event. Turner commented that Jackson performance shows she has the potential to compete with best in the country.

“[Indi’s performance] was another big highlight — she’s peaking at the right time,” Turner said. “Right now she’s 19th on the national list, so if next week she can throw a few centimeters further, we think we can get her into the national meet.”

In the jumps, freshman Landon Shank took first place in the pole vault with a mark of 4.56 meters, while freshman Keira Kelly won the women’s high jump with a leap of 1.59 meters.

On the track, junior Jessica Harris provided another highlight by winning the women’s mile in a time of 4:35.27 — setting another personal record, like she did at the Meyo Invitational earlier in the month. Harris’ performance also puts her in the national conversation, and again drew praise from Turner.

“That [performance] sets her up nicely,” Turner said. “Right now she’s ninth [nationally] in the mile, and I think that time should hold up. Historically, [her time] has been right there on the bubble in the top 16, so I think she’ll get in. She’s running the mile right here next week at [ACCs], so if she wants to take it out fast and run faster, I definitely want her to do that.”

Kaitlin Frei continued the success of the Irish in the women’s distance events, as the junior took first place in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:56.13. On Saturday, youth was served in the sprints, as freshman Troy Pride Jr. ran a 6.93-second race to win the men’s 60-meter dash, while freshman Summer Thorpe took home the title in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.60 second. Freshman Madysen Hunter also had a big day, recording two personal records in the 60-meter hurdles (9.08 seconds) and 60m dash (7.78 seconds) — recording fourth place finishes in each.

Having closed out the indoor regular season, Notre Dame now sets its sights on the ACC indoor championships. The Irish will host the meet at Loftus Sports Center next Thursday, Friday and Saturday, where 15 teams will compete for the title of conference champion.

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About Joe Everett

Joe is a junior PLS major and hails from the thriving metropolis of South Bend, IN. He is a proud resident of Stanford Hall and the defending champion of the Observer's Fantasy Football league.

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