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ND Track & Field: Three take first in outdoor opener

Megan Finneran | Monday, March 29, 2010

Three Irish athletes took first place at the Arizona State Invitational, and four athletes finished in the top five at the Stanford Invitational to open the outdoor season over the weekend.

In Tempe, Ariz., senior Joanna Schultz took first place in the women’s 400 meter hurdles with a school-record time of 58.13. Senior Jack Howard took first in the men’s 800 at 1:49.52 and sophomore Kevin Schipper took first in the men’s pole vault with a jump of 5.10 meters.

“It felt wonderful to start off the season with such a good race, especially since the hurdles are a new event for me,” Schultz said. “Hopefully with some more technical work we can bring my time down even more.”

Junior Kelly Langhans and senior Jacyln Espinoza both finished in the top five of their events. Langhans finished third in the 800 (2:09.06) and Espinoza claimed fourth in the shot put.

For the men’s team, senior Blake Choplin finished fourth in the 800 while senior Eric Quick took third in the long jump.

The first day of the Arizona State Invitational brought an advancement to the finals for junior John Belcher in the men’s hammer throw. Belcher finished 10th with a throw of 56.88 meters. Junior Denes Veres finished fifth in the men’s shot put with a toss of 17.26 meters.

Next weekend Notre Dame will send athletes to the Arizona Multi-Event, Florida Relays, Purdue Invitational and Tiger Track Classic in Auburn, Ala.