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ND Indoor Track: Irish earn spots at Opener

Joe Meixell | Monday, January 21, 2008

Notre Dame sent a clear message that it didn’t let up its intensity over winter break by earning Big East qualifications in sprint, distance and field events this weekend at the Notre Dame Indoor Opener.

The short and middle sprints gave a boost to the Irish. Freshman Miklos Szebeny in the 60-meter meter dash, sophomore Jeff Farnell in the 200-meter dash and freshman Austin Wechter in the 500-meter dash all finished in the top three with Big East championship qualifying times. Senior Jose Genao and freshman Matt Moore also qualified for the Big East meet in the 60-meter hurdles.

The Irish also ran well in the distance races. Junior Daniel Clark and freshman Spencer Carter ran strong mile times, finishing first and fourth respectively. Sophomore Balazs Molnar, junior Billy Buzaid and sophomore Jack Howard made a clean sweep in the 800-meter dash, coming out first, second and third, respectively. Senior Jamal Afridi and sophomore Jim Notwell also impressed competitors by coming out on top in the 1000-meter run.

Field events also played a part in sealing the team’s success at the meet. With impressive jumps, sophomore Eric Quick qualified for the Big East in both the triple and long jump, improving his personal record. Also, freshmen throwers Denes Veres and Greg Davis qualified for the Big East and dominated the shot put and weight throw respectively.

Notre Dame hasn’t competed in six weeks, but it didn’t show this weekend as the Irish took first in multiple events at the Notre Dame Indoor Opener.

“We wanted to use Friday night’s competition to see where we are after the long break,” said Notre Dame coach Tim Connelly.

With the return of senior Sunni Olding and freshman Marissa Treece, the women’s mile was once again a strong event for the Irish. Treece ran the best time of the season for the Irish, 5:01.96, good for second place in the event.

Amy Kohlmeier and Olding finished just seconds behind Treece to claim third and fourth, respectively. All three runners qualified for the Big East championships in February with their times.

Thrower Anna Weber also gave a strong performance for Notre Dame with wins in the weight throw with a toss of 58-3 and the shot put with a throw of 44-11?. Weber had already qualified for the Big East championships, but these marks improved her standing among the competition.

The Irish also dominated the long jump. The top three jumpers in the event were all from Notre Dame, led by Jaime Minor and her jump of 16-10 ?. Right behind her was Mary Saxer and Jasmine Williams. Saxer also won the pole vault event with a mark of 3.4 meters.

The Irish sprinters also found great success in Friday’s meet. In the 400-meter race, Joanna Schultz and Cora Dayon claimed the top two spots for the Irish. Schultz finished with a time of 56.87 seconds with teammate Dayon just a step behind her. Schultz also took second in the 200-meter later in the meet.

Kelly Langhans took first in the 800-meter – her first event of the year – and qualified her for the Big East championship. Teammate Natalie Johnson also ran well for the Irish claiming third in the event.

In the 1,000-meter run, Jacqueline Carter clocked in at 2:57.41, which was good for third place and a spot in the Big East championships.

With the return of Carter, Kohlmeier, Treece and Olding from injuries and illnesses, the Irish should be ready and at full strength for their next meet, Friday’s Notre Dame Invitational.