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ND Women’s Track: Runners post positive results in Blue and Gold Invitational

Joe Meixell | Monday, December 10, 2007

Notre Dame got off to a solid start on Friday when it hosted the annual Blue and Gold Invitational against DePaul, Marquette and Detroit Mercy.

Sophomore Joanna Schultz captured the 200 and 400-meters and many of her team members posted Big East qualifying times at the meet.

“Only a few years ago, we started inviting other teams to this meet because we discovered that these marks would qualify for the Big East meet,” Irish coach Tim Connelly said. “These would not be wasted marks.”

The men’s and women’s teams combined to pick up 40 Big East qualifying marks on Friday. However, even for those that did not qualify for the championships, the meet was an opportunity to gain some meaningful experience before the end of the fall semester.

“It gives our team an opportunity to compete before going home for Christmas break. They have been training since September and this gives us a chance to evaluate our team,” Connelly said.

Connelly had plenty of good races to evaluate.

The Irish swept the 500-meter dash. Out of the 14 competitors, the top seven finishers were all Irish runners. In addition, all seven qualified for the Big East championships with their times. The winner was freshman Cora Dayon, who ran a time of 1:14:37.

In the distance races, the Irish were without their impact runners, senior Sunni Olding and freshman Marissa Treece. Both have struggled through injuries and illness since training began in September. Connelly said they were not yet at full strength and probably would not be fit until February.

The Irish throwers performed well under new coach Adam Beltran. Anna Weber qualified for the Big East meet in the weight throw with a toss of 17.54 meters. Weber and sophomore Jaclyn Espinoza finished first and second, respectively, in the shot put.

Irish junior Mary Saxer became a conference qualifier in the pole vault with a mark of 3.4 meters. Sophomore Jaime Minor finished in first place in the triple jump with a mark of 11.34 meters.

The team will be off until returning from winter break. Their next meet will be the Notre Dame Indoor Opener on January 18.