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Men’s Track: Runners impress in Arizona

Eugenia Alfonzo | Monday, March 31, 2008

Notre Dame produced an impressive finish as they traveled to Tempe, Ariz., this past weekend for the Arizona State Invitational.

Although some members were not present for the meet, composing of mostly distance runners, the team had a good showing against the 12 other teams present, including top-ranked Arizona State.

The Irish had 10 athletes earn 11 Big East qualifications and one NCAA Regional qualification, along with many performances that missed the mark by a small margin.

On Friday, only the throwers participated in the meet since the hammer throw was the first and only event of the day. Freshman Greg Davis came in 13th place in the preliminaries with a throw of 54.70 meters, well over the Big East qualifying distance of 48 meters. He now ranks first for the Big East conference in the hammer throw, past indoor champion Andrew Hackney.

Junior Jeff Mensch also participated in the hammer throw, ending up with a 48.68 meter distance and a Big East qualification.

On Saturday morning, the first event for the Irish was the 400-meter dash, with freshman Miklos Szebeny and junior Billy Buzaid finishing seventh and tenth, respectively. Senior Austin Wechter followed with an impressive finish in the 400-intermediate hurdles. With a time of 53.72 seconds, Wechter’s time ranks in the top four in all of the Big East. The 4-by-400-meter relay consisting of Szebeny, Wechter, Buzaid and sophomore Balazs Molnar ran to fourth place with a time of 3:13.57. Their time is ranked third, following close behind Rutgers and Seton Hall University.

For field events, sophomore Brandon Denon threw 50.74 in the Discus throw, landing him with a Big East qualification and an 11th place finish. As for shot put, The Irish throwers picked up three Big East qualifications. Senior Mike Schubert, freshman Denes Verez and John Belcher placed sixth, ninth, and tenth in the event respectively, and are in the top seven of Big East standings. Sophomore Eric Quick finished well for jumps, finishing second in both the long jump and the triple jump, earning another two Big East qualifications for the Irish. In the high jump, junior Blair Majcina performed well and finished fourth with a Big East qualifying jump of 2.05 meters.

The Notre Dame NCAA Regional qualification belongs to sophomore pole vaulter Matt Schipper, who earned a sixth place finish with a jump of 5.05-meters. Schipper finished fifth last year at the Big East outdoor championships with a jump of 4.85-meters. His previous best this season had been at the Meyo Invitational, with a jump of 5-meters.

The Irish compete again at the Mike Poehlein Invitational next weekend at West Lafayette, Ind.