Track and Field
Irish find success on track, infield during split-squad weekend
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Notre Dame athletes competed at a pair of meets this past weekend. Several members of the Irish distance squad traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia, to compete in the Virginia Challenge, while the rest of the team competed at Baylor University’s Michael Johnson Invitational. The Irish recorded numerous personal bests and picked up several top-five finishes at both competitions.
Notre Dame’s men performed well on the infield in Waco, Texas, on Friday, with graduate student Nathan Richartz winning the pole vault for the fifth meet in a row, clearing the bar at 5.51 meters. Richartz remains undefeated in the event this outdoor season.
Irish freshman thrower John Stefan placed first in the open shot put, setting a new personal record with his throw of 16.07 meters. His teammates, sophomores Logan Kusky and Shae Watkins, placed fourth and fifth in the event with throws of 15.23 meters and 15.15 meters, respectively. Kusky would also set a new personal best in the discus throw, hitting a distance of 48.27 meters in the open competition for a fifth-place finish. Watkins threw for a distance of 50.47 meters in the invite field, finishing in sixth place.
Freshman distance runner Vincent Zona picked up a fifth-place finish in the 1,500-meter run, finishing with a time of 3:57.72.
The Irish women also put together several strong performances on the track. Sophomore Summer Thorpe picked up a second-place finish in 100-meter hurdles, setting a personal record with a time of 13.40 seconds, a mark which is the fifth-best in program history.
Thorpe participated alongside seniors Allison Bartoszewicz and Jordan Shead and sophomore Grace Cronin in the 4×400-meter relay. The team earned fifth place with a time of 3:41.94. The Irish also earned second place overall in the women’s 4×100-meter relay, as junior Kyla Lewis and sophomore Naya Sharp teamed up with Shead and Thorpe to post a finishing time of 46.06 seconds.
Shead also placed third overall in the 400-meter dash, picking up a personal record with her time of 53.30 seconds. That mark was also good enough to give Shead the fourth-best 400-meter time in the conference.
Freshman thrower Rachel Tanczos finished as the runner-up in the invite field of the hammer throw, notching a new personal record with a distance of 53.84 meters.
Notre Dame found some success at the Virginia Challenge as well. The meet is known for its high-level distance competition, and the Irish were hoping to pace themselves against strong opponents.
Junior Anthony Williams earned 18th place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, finishing with a time of 9:08.40, a new personal record. Freshman Parker Jones picked up a third-place finish in the 1,500-meter run, setting a new personal best with his time of 3:53.21.
Senior Jessica Harris set a personal record in the 800-meter run, finishing second overall with a time of 2:06.46. Junior Kelly Hart (2:07.79) and senior Samantha Murray (2:09.78), who finished eighth and 16th, respectively, joined Harris in the 800-meter run. Harris also went on to earn fourth place in the 1,500-meter run, posting a final time of 4:20.64.
This coming weekend, Notre Dame will be splitting up again. Part of the team will be heading to Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Field to compete in the Penn Relays, while other Irish athletes will compete at the Gina Relays in Hillsdale, Michigan. Competition at Penn will kick off at 1 p.m. Thursday and run through Saturday. The Gina Relays will be a two-day affair, with competition beginning Friday at noon.