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ND Track & Field: Men, women win at home

Douglas Farmer | Monday, January 26, 2009

In their first scored meet of the year, both Notre Dame track teams scored 181 points, and both took first place. The other schools men’s and women’s teams also posted identical marks as Michigan State took second, Wisconsin third and Marquette placed fourth. Friday’s Notre Dame Invitational saw many Irish athletes qualify for the Big East Championships in less than a month.

In the men’s 800-meter race, five Irish qualified for the Big East Championships, led by junior Jack Howard, who finished third in the race with a time of 1:50.84, and junior Jim Notwell, finishing fourth in 1:51.99.

Five more Notre Dame athletes qualified for the conference Championships in the men’s weight throw. Sophomore Greg Davis took fourth, and freshmen Mitchell Gormley’s throw earned him fifth, with distances of 16.93 meters and 16.78 meters, respectively.

The Irish men qualified four individuals in the 1600-meter run as senior Dan Clark finished second with a time of 4:07.63. Freshmen Jordan Carlson crossed the line right behind him in third with a time of 4:08.63.

The Irish men middle distance runners performed just as well, qualifying four runners. Freshmen Jordan Rincon won the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.65 and Alex Korenstra finished sixth in 49.69. Senior Bill Buzaid and junior Balazs Molnar took third and fourth in the 500-meters, in times of 1:03.45 and 1:04.58, respectively.

The all around success for the Irish men’s team promises a bright future.

“The meet showed we really are a complete team this year,” Buzaid said. “I’m not saying there aren’t outstanding individual performances on the team this year. There are great athletes. We have a real balanced team and it will be exciting to go to the Big East Championships and see what we can do as a team.”

The Irish women were led by a brilliant performance by junior Joanna Schultz. Schultz took third in the 60-meters, first in the 200-meters, and first in the 400-meters, qualifying in both the 200-meters and the 400-meters.

Senior Mary Saxer continued her strong season as she followed her qualifying pole vaults of last week with a strong performance in the long jump. Her second place jump of 5.57 meters earned her a slot at the Big East Championships as well.

The Irish teams look to continue with such building success next week at the Indiana Relays.