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Track and Field

Notre Dame has strong showing at ACC/Big Ten Challenge

| Monday, April 18, 2016

In one of its biggest meets of the season this past Saturday at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Notre Dame managed to score five first-place finishes overall against a strong field.

As a team however, the Irish came in fifth and sixth on the women’s and men’s sides respectively.

Irish head coach Alan Turner, though, said he was still pleased with the overall performance of his athletes.

“Our focus was not to win the Louisville Invite … our goal is to win ACC titles and NCAA titles,” Turner said. “We actually had as a program 17 personal records set. Now that’s something that won’t show up on any stat sheet at the meet unless you go through each person and each event, but for me this was a very productive meet for the athletes that we did take. We are progressing very well.”

In the field events, junior thrower Anthony Shivers recorded a throw of 55.45 meters on his second throw to win the men’s discus. In the high jump, freshman Matt Birzer claimed second in a tight field with a jump of 2.05 meters, and sophomore Hunter Holton came in fifth with the same score.

Irish junior Grant Koch, right, competes in the 800-meter run at the Alex Wilson Invitational at Loftus Sports Center on Feb. 20. Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer
Irish junior Grant Koch, right, competes in the 800-meter run at the Alex Wilson Invitational at Loftus Sports Center on Feb. 20.

For the women, senior thrower Lena Madison set the tone Friday night with a 51-meter toss in the hammer throw, good enough for 10th place overall. Madison also came in tenth in the discus, right behind freshman Alexa Coubal, who came in ninth with a throw of 43.02 meters. In the long jump, graduate student Carly Loeffel came in third with a 5.84-meter jump, and freshman Dominique DeMoe came in 10th after jumping 4.88 meters. Rounding out the solid performances, was junior Taylor Craft, who came in second in the triple jump with a 11.81-meter mark.

But it was on the track where the Irish performed the best. On the men’s side, the trio of junior Grant Koch (1:52.71), junior Andrew Stone (1:52.85) and sophomore Michael Morris (1:55.40) came in fourth, fifth and 10th respectively in the 800-meter run, while senior Aaron Dunn came in 10th in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of :55.77.

The women had multiple first-place finishes on the day, highlighted by graduate student Kaila Barber in the 100-meter hurdles, sophomore Sydney Foreman in the 5,000-meter run, sophomore Jordan Shead in the 400-meter run and senior Margaret Bamgbose in the 200-meter run.

“We had a lot of good performances that I’m really excited about as the season goes on,” Turner said. “For the people that were there, I was very proud of the performances they put forth.”

In the 100-meter hurdles, Barber (:13.03) and Loeffel (:14.27) finished first and seventh respectively, while the Irish also won the 5,000, where Foreman came in first with a time of 17:07.60, and sophomore Kaitlin Frei finished fourth in 17:25.12. Shead won the 400in :54.32, and was followed by sophomore Payton Miller in sixth with a :55.91-second time. In the 200, the Irish placed five in the top 12, headed by Bamgbose, who won with a time of :23.34. Junior Jamie Marvil ran a 2:08 in the 800, good enough for second, and the 4×400-meter relay team of Shead, Miller, senior Mikaila Chamblee and sophomore Parker English rounded out the day with a time of 3:47, good enough for fifth.

Turner is hoping the team uses these results as motivation heading towards the ACC outdoor championships.

“Anytime an athlete does very well in the middle of the season it’s gonna boost their confidence and they should do very well, much better in the actual championship part of the season” Turner said. “So the team is very positive right now, it really is.”

The Irish race next at the Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville, Virginia, this Friday and Saturday.

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About Tobias Hoonhout

Toby served as Managing Editor in the 2018-2019 term.

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