Track and Field
Irish compete at Drake Relays
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, April 28, 2014
Notre Dame continued to build off its top-three finish at the ACC outdoor championships by putting together a strong weekend at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, and the Hillsdale Gina Relays in Hillsdale, Mich.
At the Drake Relays, the men finished in ninth place overall, picking up seven points, while the No. 22 women notched eighth place with 10 points.
Junior hurdler Jade Barber again stood out with impressive performances for the Irish. At the ACC championships April 19, Barber helped lead the Irish women to a second-place finish by winning the 100-meter hurdles with a then-season-best time of 12.98 seconds. That victory made Barber Notre Dame’s first-ever gold-medal winner at the ACC outdoor championships. Barber followed up that distinction by setting a new personal best (12.97) in the preliminary round of the same event Friday at the Drake Relays. While she was not able to top that time Saturday, she was still pulled out a photo-finish victory over Texas-El Paso senior hurdler Janice Jackson. Barber finished the 100-meter hurdles in 13.284 seconds, just .006 seconds faster than the second-place Jackson.
Elsewhere at the Drake Relays, the men’s 4×400-meter relay had mixed results over the weekend. On Friday, sprinters junior Chris Giesting, senior Pat Feeney, freshman Harvey Smith and senior Jarrod Buchanon started strong in the preliminary race, qualifying for the finals with a season-best 3:05.94 finish. They were not able to overcome the strong competition from top-25 programs Arkansas, Georgia, Baylor and Nebraska in the finals, however, falling to sixth place (3:06.43).
The Irish found more success in the women’s 4×200-meter relay on Friday, as junior Kaila Barber, sophomore Margaret Bamgbose, senior Michelle Brown and senior Aijah Urssery pulled out a victory in 1:34.54. It was another close race, as Kansas’s relay came within a 12 hundredths of a second of unseating the Irish.
At the Hillsdale Gina Relays, senior John Lundy earned two first-place finishes in the men’s 100- and 200-meter dashes. Also finishing in the top-three positions were sophomore Nick Hauser in the hammer throw, freshman Emily Carson in the long jump, sophomore Lena Madison in the shot put and freshman Conner Stapleton in the 400-meter hurdles.
The Irish will return to action next weekend at the Billy Hayes Invitational in Bloomington, Ind.