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ND Track and Field: Watson closes in on 4-minute mile

Jay Fitzpatrick | Monday, February 5, 2007

For another year, the highlight of the Meyo Invitational was the men’s mile run.

Notre Dame junior Jake Watson took the Meyo Mile honors this year, running the third-fastest mile time in the NCAA this season at 4:00.71. Watson’s time was also the fifth-best ever for an Irish runner and good enough to qualify provisionally for the NCAA Championships.

In the 3,000-meter run, Wisconsin All-American Chris Solinski set a national season-best time of 7:52.42.

But the Irish distance runners were not the only squad to perform well in the Meyo Invitational. Notre Dame’s field team and sprinters also held their own against the tough competition.

“I’d say as far as the distance squad goes, almost all the girls had season bests, which we’re all really excited about,” Irish distance runner Emily Wauford said. “And the sprinters and jumpers also represented well. It was a positive meet overall for our team.”

Notre Dame senior Christopher Jacques set a new personal best in the long jump at 7.44 meters. Jacques’ previous personal best was 6.82 at last year’s Blue and Gold Invitational.

“I have my coach to thank for that and all the training that we’ve done and my teammates who have helped me in practice,” he said. “It is definitely an accomplishment I knew we were capable of and with [Irish coach Joe Piane’s] help we made it possible.”

The Irish met Big East qualifying times for 35 events during the weekend competition.

“We’ve been training all year round and the coaches have been doing a great job of having us ready for the season and doing well and getting us ready for what counts the most – the Big East conference championships,” Jacques said.

The Meyo Invitational is the squad’s final tune-up before the Big East Championships Feb. 17-18. Even though some athletes will head north to Ontario for the Windsor Invitational Saturday, the majority of the team will spend the next two weeks focused completely on the Big East meet.

“I think the team is definitely ready for a great performance at the Big East,” Jacques said. “As long as we keep training hard and listening to our coaches, we should be in great shape to win another Big East championship.”