Track and Field
Alan Turner pleased with squad’s effort in Bloomington
Tobias Hoonhout | Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Notre Dame travelled downstate to Bloomington, Indiana, this weekend for the Indiana University Relays, where both the Irish men and women had solid performances, totaling 26 top-10 finishes against elite competition from around the country.
“We wanted to, as a whole, improve on what we did in the previous week at the Notre Dame Invitational,” Irish head coach Alan Turner said. “We didn’t … perform as well as I wanted to [last week], so I was looking for across the board solid, credible performances from the team.”
Graduate student Kaila Barber delivered in the 60-meter hurdles, registering the top time of 8.31 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles preliminaries Friday before winning the event in Saturday’s finals with a time just one hundredth of a second slower. Turner said he was impressed with Barber’s performance, especially given how little she’s trained for the race this year.
“It was very impressive considering she’s only been practicing hurdles over the last three weeks,” Turner said. “Everyone else has been doing this since the fall, so she’s off to a great start this season.”
The women had a number of other solid performances. In the mile, freshmen Annie Heffernan and Rachel DaDamio finished fifth and ninth, respectively, while in the triple jump, junior Taylor Craft reached 11.51 meters, good enough for third place. The 1,600-meter relay team of sophomores Parker English, Payton Miller and Jordan Shead and senior Margaret Bamgbose came in the runner-up spot with a time of 3:42.49.
On the men’s side, the Irish had several standout performers in the field events. Junior Anthony Shivers came in third in the weight throw with a toss of 19.56 meters and continues to pursue the Irish program record.
“He’s been getting really consistent,” Turner said. “Right now we’ve been trying to get him at that 20-meter mark, and he’s been hitting 19.5, 19.6, so any day now he should break the school record of 19.69.”
The Irish also got contributions from a pair of freshmen in the field events; Matthew Birzer finished third in the high jump, hitting 2.04 meters, while Daniel Hardiman placed ninth in the shot put Friday with a long throw of 14.34 meters
Turner said he was particularly impressed with sophomore Kirk Hansen, who came in sixth in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:20.61 on Friday.
“He is progressing nicely,” he said. “It was a good opportunity for him to get in there and get some races in, and he ran very well, so I think he will continue to run well this weekend at the Mayo Invitational.”
This upcoming weekend will mark the high point of Notre Dame’s indoor season, Turner said, as the Irish are set to host the Meyo Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
“We’re in the heart of the season now, and we have our biggest meet coming up this weekend at home,” Turner said. “The competition is going to be pretty stiff in every event. … I’m looking to have a bunch of my athletes have their season bests this upcoming weekend, and we should do that.”