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Track and Field: Women win Big East title; men come in second

Greg Hadley | Wednesday, May 15, 2013

All season long, the Irish had one main goal: win the Big East title, both indoors and outdoors, men and women. While the women captured both titles, the men fell short of their goal, finishing as runner-up at both the indoor and outdoor championships. 

But according to junior captain and long jumper Logan Renwick, the squad has more reasons than not to be proud of its season.

“Obviously, to have the women win both indoors and outdoors is very impressive,” Renwick said. “It was disappointing for the men not to win, but it’s made us hungry to finish off the year strong and head into next season, especially in the ACC, where the competition will be that much better.”

The Irish started off the year at the Blue and Gold Invitational at the Loftus Sports Center on Dec. 7, 2012, and do not finish off their year until June 8 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. Such a long season, Renwick said, has allowed several athletes to make enormous improvements, such as sophomore sprinter and hurdler Jade Barber.

After an impressive freshman year in which she earned all-Big East accolades in the 100-meter hurdles and both the 4×100 and 4×400-meter relays, Barber was even better in her sophomore campaign. She won the 60-meter hurdles and 4×400-meter relay at the Big East indoor championship and was named Most Outstanding Track Performer. Later, at the national championship in Fayetteville, Ark., Barber earned all-American honors in both events. 

Barber’s outdoor season has been equally impressive with Big East titles in the 100-meter hurdles and 4×100-meter relay. She is currently preparing to compete in the NCAA regional qualifying meet, with a chance to advance to the national championship.

“Jade had an immediate impact for the team as a freshman, but she’s really put herself on the national stage this year,” Renwick said. “Her progress has been incredible and she has a very bright future.”

On the men’s side, junior Pat Feeney and sophomore Chris Giesting are not only two of the nation’s top 400-meter runners, but also roommates in Knott Hall and friendly rivals. 

“Chris and Pat are both great competitors who have a very healthy rivalry,” Renwick said. “Watching them go back and forth all year has been very exciting, and it pushed us all to do better as well.”

Feeney and Giesting spent much of the indoor season one-upping the other, continually lowering the school record in the process. Feeney ended up with the record at 46.03, but both earned indoor all-American honors. Giesting has had the advantage during the outdoor season, winning the Big East title. Both sprinters are currently ranked in the top 25 nationally and will be competing at the NCAA regional meet.

The Irish next compete at the NCAA regional meet, which will take place in Greensboro, N.C., on May 22-25, before they conclude their season at the NCAA national championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 5-8.

Contact Greg Hadley at [email protected]