Track and Field
Harris, Bamgbose set school records at Meyo Invitational
Marek Mazurek | Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Notre Dame saw several record-breaking performances by the Irish women’s team in two-day Meyo Invitational, held Friday and Saturday at Loftus Sports Center.
Freshman Jessica Harris set her fourth school record in as many career meets, as she broke the school record she previously held in the 800-meter run by posting a time of 2:06.16. Irish coach Alan Turner said Harris has great potential but still has room for improvement.
“If [Harris] can just get a little bit more action with her arms, that will really help her finishing kick,” Turner said. “The sky is the limit for her, and she’s going to continue to run better and better. It’s only her second 800-meter [race] in college, she’s special, she really is.”
In the 400-meter dash, junior All-American Margaret Bamgbose broke the school and meet record with a time of 52.45 seconds and also anchored the Irish in the 4×400-meter relay to a first-place finish with a Meyo Invitational record time of 3:37.20 seconds. Turner said Bamgbose’s performances were a good step in the right direction.
“[Bamgbose] is ready to go,” Turner said. “The [4×400] relay on the women’s side went a lot better today. They’re going to continue to run well as the season goes along.”
Along with Harris and Bamgbose, junior Danielle Aragon finished with a personal-best mile time of 4:38.73. Turner said that the result puts Aragon in elite company nationally.
“[Aragon] set a big personal best in the women’s mile,” Turner said. “I think she beat her personal best by almost five or six seconds. That puts her in the top 10 in the country.”
Overall, Turner believes his team is ready and knows what they need to do to compete in the upcoming ACC championships.
“We’re getting better as a team,” Turner said. “[The team] knows that they have to come out and give 100 percent effort every time, and we did that this weekend. Our women’s team is pretty good, and we’re going to challenge for the ACC title. With the men, we just don’t have enough depth across the board. We’ll probably be middle of the pack, fourth or fifth.”
Another highlight of the Meyo Invitational for the Irish included a number of professional athletes coming back to compete in the meet, including former Notre Dame track star Jeremy Rae. Turner said having Rae and the other professional athletes at the meet enhanced his team’s motivation.
“[Rae] knows the tradition of the race,” Turner said. “If you ask him, he’ll say the Meyo Mile is his favorite race and he’ll come back as long as he can … [the team] benefits from having these guys come in because it’s one thing to watch them on TV, but when you’re actually in the race against some of the best people in the world, you say, ‘They’re in front of me, but they’re not too far.’ Those post-collegiate athletes really enhance the meet and push the collegiate athletes to really go.”
The Irish will run again next weekend, when the team will split between the Grand Valley State Big Meet in Allendale, Michigan and the SPIRE DI Invitational in Geneva, Ohio.