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Men’s Track and Field: Benninger continues rapid pace, beats mark

Joe Meixell | Monday, January 28, 2008

Senior Kurt Benninger is running like a man possessed. To start the season, he torched the field in the Indoor Opener and ran the second-fastest 3,000-meter time in the nation.

This weekend, Benninger showed his speed once again as the All-American ripped off a 4:02.90 mile, which beat the NCAA provisional mark of 4:04. His strong showing helped the Irish to a 52-point victory over second-place Michigan State in the Notre Dame Invititional at Loftus.

“Kurt has been solid for a long time,” Irish coach Joe Piane said. “Along with the other upperclassmen, he has been a strong leader on the team.”

In the short distance events, freshman Miklos Szebeny continues to impress. For the second week in a row the Hungarian runner took first place in the 60-meter dash, while also nabbing the top spot in the 200-meter event.

Thrower Greg Davis also showcased the underclassmen’s talent. Davis, a freshman, easily took first place in the weight throw event with a distance of 17.48 meters.

“The underclassmen have really stepped up this year,” Piane said. “It is great that the younger guys are getting experience, but to have them contributing the way they are is even better.”

Irish junior Billy Buzaid led the squad of the middle distance runners, winning the 500-meter race with a time of 1:03.80. Buzaid had already earned a Big East championship qualification in the Blue and Gold Invitational, but Friday’s time was almost a second better than his earlier time of 1:04.50.

An Irish athlete took top honors in nine different events. The team will next compete Friday at the two-day Indiana Invitational.