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ND Men’s Track: Irish take 24 of 31 events

Joe Meixell | Monday, December 10, 2007

Notre Dame started its season strong with an impressive performance at the Blue and Gold invitational at the Loftus center Friday, claiming first in 24 of 31 events against competition from DePaul, Marquette, and Detroit Mercy.

Senior Kurt Benninger set a solid example for his teammates. Benninger’s time of 8:05.22 in the 3,000-meter event was the highlight of the night and stands as the second-fastest time in the nation so far this season. Benninger finished 30 seconds before anyone else. Freshman Greg Davis showcased his rising talent on the team, placing first in the weight throw and nabbing a Big East qualification with a distance of 17.76 meters.

“The freshmen are doing very well. We lost a lot of talented players but I am optimistic with what the young athletes are doing,” Notre Dame head coach Joe Piane said. “It is good to see the underclassmen stepping up and helping us succeed.”

Senior Adam Currie did not miss a step after earning Big East honors last year in the 1,000-meter race, as he streaked past all runners to first place, beating the second place runner by two seconds. Another Big East qualification was earned by senior Bob Kueny also earned a Big East qualification with his time of 49.56 n the 400 meter race. Taking after his teammate, freshman Miklos Szebeny took first in the 200-meter run with a time of 21.9 seconds, which also earned a spot in the Big East meet.

“The team looks good,” Piane said. “Our main goal is to get as many guys qualified for the Big East as we can. [Connecticut], Georgetown, Pittsburgh … there are a lot of terrific teams in our division, so we really have to do well if we hope to achieve our goal of winning the Big East.”

This year’s Blue and Gold invitational proved to be even more lucrative for the team than last year’s meet. The Irish took home more than 40 qualifications for the Big East championship meet, surpassing last year’s total of an even 40.

The team’s next meet, the Notre Dame Indoor Opener, is scheduled for Jan. 18.