Track and Field
Notre Dame disappoints in first meet of new year
Marek Mazurek | Monday, January 19, 2015
Notre Dame kicked off the new year at the Simmons-Harvey Invitational in Ann Arbor, Michigan, this past Saturday. The Irish won five events including the women’s 600-meter, the women’s 4-by-400-meter relay, women’s long jump and the men’s mile.
Despite the wins, first-year head coach Alan Turner said that there was room for improvement for the Irish.
“My overall impression of the meet was that we were just ok,” Turner said. “There were some good performances by a few individuals, especially our freshman Jessica Harris. … There were some people in some other events who fouled out so that was a disappointment. Our men’s [4-by-400] didn’t finish … and we finished eighth in the country last year so that was a disappointment.”
Despite this, Turner said that he is not worried and fully expects the Irish to perform when the championship meet comes around.
“Overall, most of the kids are getting back into it and when I look at the season as a whole, what happened at the Simmons-Harvey Invitational is not going to be indicative of what’s going to happen at the end of the season,” he said. “These performances will continue to improve a lot as the season goes along.”
The Irish did have multiple bright spots at the invitational, including freshman Jessica Harris, who won the women’s 600-meter race with a time of 1:31.98, breaking the school record. Turner said that Harris is a stellar athlete and will only continue to get better.
“[Harris] breaking the school record in the 600, she made it look pretty easy,” Turner said. “She won by a large margin, she literally finished and wasn’t even breathing that hard. I’m really excited to see what she’s going to do in her main event, the 800 meters. The next two weeks we’re going to have her run her main event and see what she can do here at the Notre Dame Invitational. I can see her challenging the school record indoors. She’s also a great student, she had a 4.0 her first semester here. She’s off to an outstanding start here at Notre Dame.”
In addition to Harris, freshman Parker English won the women’s 400-meter with a time of 56.47.
“[English] didn’t run in the first meet in December,” Turner said. “She had a hamstring problem so we sat her out her first meet. She ran a very good, tactical race. She was under control, there’s a lot there. She trains on a day-to-day basis with other first team All-Americans in the 400. Those two (Harris and English), once the season gets going and we get to the bigger meets, I expect those two to be in the low 53, high 52 (seconds) range at the ACC championships. I think Parker, when all is said and done, is going to be one of the best in school history as well.”
On the men’s side of the meet, the only Irish victory was claimed by senior Christopher Quinn, who won the mile with a time of 4:16.54. Turner said Quinn’s win was a bright spot in the men’s competition.
“On the men’s side, we didn’t have a great showing, but we did have some very positive performances,” he said. “Chris Quinn in the mile pulled out a victory for us, which is good to see. Quinn was running cross-country for us as well. He looks like he’s going to have a pretty good season for us.”
The Irish next compete at the Notre Dame Invitational in Loftus Sports Center, starting next Saturday at 10 a.m.