Track and Field
Irish look for momentum as postseason nears
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, April 20, 2018
This weekend, Notre Dame athletes will compete at both the Michael Johnson Invitational in Waco, Texas, and the Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Irish are continuing to gear up for postseason competition in early May, and the team will be looking to put forth a strong showing at both meets this weekend.
Most of the Irish athletes competing this weekend will be traveling to Baylor for the Michael Johnson Invitational. Facing athletes from numerous schools across Texas and the midwest, Notre Dame will be looking to continue improving its position heading into May.
Sophomore Irish sprinter Jordan Shead will be one of the main athletes to watch on the track on Saturday. Shead took first in the 400-meter hurdles last weekend at Louisville, and will be looking to perform well this weekend in the 400-meter and 200-meter dash.
Shead will be joined by four other Irish athletes in the 200-meters, including junior Kyla Lewis and senior Allison Bartoszewicz. Bartoszewicz will be running alongside Shead in the 400-meters. Shead and Bartoszewicz will also be competing in the women’s 4×400-meter relay, joined by sophomores Summer Thorpe and Grace Cronin.
On the men’s side, the Irish will be fielding a group of three sprinters in the 200-meter dash. Senior Harvey Smith and juniors Edward Cheatham and Zachary Zajdel are slated to compete in the event. Cheatham and Zajdel will also be competing together in the 400-meter dash.
The Notre Dame men will also be fielding a 4×400-meter relay team, comprised of Cheatham, Smith, Zajdel and senior Drake Stimson.
The Irish will also be hoping to impress on the in the field events. Graduate student Nathan Richartz will once again be competing in the pole vault. Richartz has won the event four times in four outings over the course of the spring, and will be looking to add another first place to his resume. Holding a season best of 5.60 meters, Richartz currently leads all ACC pole vaulters.
Several Notre Dame throwers will also be competing in various events at the Johnson Invitational. Sophomores Logan Kusky and Shae Watkins will be joined by freshman teammate John Stefan in the men’s shot put and men’s hammer throw as they try to improve on previous marks set this season. Kusky and junior teammate Daniel Hardiman will also be competing in the discus throw.
On the women’s side, an Irish trio of senior Indi Jackson, sophomore Abbey Kapitan and freshman Rachel Tanczos will be competing in the shot put. Kapitan and Tanczos will compete in the hammer throw as well, and Tanczos will also look to improve her previous throws in the discus.
Notre Dame’s contingent in Charlottesville this weekend will be entirely comprised of distance runners. The meet usually plays host to some tough distance competition and should be a good environment to push the Irish runners to do their best.
Irish senior Jessica Harris will be looking to continue a successful season this weekend as she competes in the 800- and 1,500-meter runs. Harris will be joined by junior Kelly Hart and senior Samantha Murray in the 1,500.
Notre Dame freshmen Andrew Alexander, Brian Griffith, Peter Monahan and sophomore Kevin Salvano will be competing in the men’s 5,000-meters.
Competition in Charlottesville will kick off at 11 a.m. on Friday, to be continued again at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The Michael Johnson Invitational will only take place on Saturday, with the action beginning at 11 a.m.