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ND returns home after success on road

| Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Irish squad made its presence known on the road this weekend, splitting into three for a variety of competitions across the country. Despite the distance between the squads, success was found at every meet. Two Irish distance runners marked their names in the Notre Dame record books in Iowa, while 16 individuals recorded top-ten finishes in Bloomington, Ind. At Clemson, junior Logan Kusky updated his school record in the weight throw, a record which he set just three weeks ago at the Notre Dame Invitational.  

In Iowa, the underclassman distance runners stepped up, racking up a total of four top-10 finishes. Freshman Maddy Denner placed 10th in the 3,000-meter run, finishing in 9:41.75, while freshman classmate Jackie Gaughan finished fourth in the 5,000-meter championship race with a time of 15:52.63. Senior Annie Heffernan won the earlier 5,000 run with a time of 16:25.57, first overall in her heat.

Anna Mason | The Observer
Senior middle distance runner Kelly Hart strides ahead of the competition in Loftus Fieldhouse at the Meyo Invitational.

On the men’s side, two Irish sophomores marked their names in the record books with their performances in the 3,000-meter races. Andrew Alexander ran first, in which he placed second overall with a time of 8:06.16, the 10th-best time in Notre Dame program history. Following Alexander’s performance, Yared Nuguse ran in the championship heat where he put up a time of 7:57.55 to claim seventh overall and the fifth-best time in school history

It was in Bloomington, however, where the Irish found the most success across the board — particularly in the field events — as 16 team members recorded top-10 finishes.

Freshman Connor Artman and Colton Crum set the tone for the day early, both placing in the top-five of their respective events. Crum placed fourth overall in the pole vault, recording a height of 4.88m. Artman placed fifth in long jump with a jump of 6.7m.

Throwers Shae Watkins and John Stefan also had big days in Bloomington, placing fifth and sixth in the men’s shot put and seventh and tenth in the weight throw, respectively. In the shot put, Watkins, a junior, posted a throw of 16.66m, with sophomore Stefan following closely behind at 16.62m. Representing the women’s throwing team in Bloomington was freshman Alesis Juntunen, who threw for 13.01m to place eighth overall.

The Irish were represented just as well on the track as they were in the field. Freshman Shae Douglas finished fifth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.80 seconds, followed by junior Michaela Butler in eighth at 8.02 seconds. Senior Zachary Zajdel placed sixth in the men’s 60 with a time of 7.04 seconds. Junior Summer Thorpe continued her domination in the women’s 60-meter hurdle — the same event she won at the Meyo Invitational two weeks ago. She won the final heat with a time of 8.49 seconds.

The third and final division of the Notre Dame team headed south to Clemson University.

The weekend came to a conclusion with junior thrower Logan Kusky breaking his own school record, throwing for 20.73m on his fifth attempt to best his previous record of 20.60m.

The Irish will reunite for their final regular season competition of the indoor season at the Alex Wilson Invitational. The Irish look to finish on a strong note before looking towards the postseason. The Alex Wilson Invitational will take place this Saturday at 11 a.m. in Loftus Fieldhouse.

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