Track and Field
ND shines while hosting top competition at Meyo Invitational
Joe Everett | Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Hosting the 32nd annual Meyo Invitational this past weekend inside the Loftus Fieldhouse, the Notre Dame men and women recorded three first-place finishes, 41 top-15 individual finishers and two relays in the top-15 throughout the two-day event.
Friday’s competition was highlighted by junior Logan Kusky in the men’s weight throw, with the junior throwing for a distance of 20.38m on his final attempt to earn himself a first-place finish. In the women’s weight throw, sophomore Rachel Tanczos and junior Abbey Kapitan finished second and third respectively. Finally, in the men’s 5,000m, Irish sophomore Kevin Salvano took second with a time of 14:21.01.
On Saturday, the Irish once again earned victories in individual events. Junior sprinter Summer Thorpe finished first in the 60m hurdle finals with a time of 8.38 seconds. However, perhaps the most exciting moment of the day came in the meet’s signature event: the Meyo Mile. Sophomore Yared Nuguse who won the event last year as a freshman made it two straight, edging out Eastern Michigan’s Owen Day on the final straightaway and registering a season-best time of 4:01.10.
Irish head coach Matt Sparks said he was proud of all three of the event winners, highlighting what they’ve done well so far and explaining how and why they haven’t hit their ceiling yet.
“Yared’s really learned how to win over the last 12 months, from a year ago at this meet until now,” Sparks said. “I felt that a year ago was his breakout race. His time right now is not indicative of his fitness — he’s more fit than a 4:01 — but he runs what the field requires of him to win. At the end of the day, that’s all I can ask of you … Really that’s his big attribute right now — knowing how to put things away in the last 10 percent of the competition.
“Really, the same thing could be said about our other two winners of the meet: Logan Kusky and Summer Thorpe,” Sparks said. “Logan had to come back and win the competition on his last throw of the day and Summer, in such a short race where you can see everything going on to your left and right and knowing what you have to do to cross the finish line first. It just shows you the type of competitor that all three of those kids are. Their times will come [down] once they get into better and better competition and … get closer to national qualifying.”
Overall, the atmosphere inside the Loftus Fieldhouse was energized and excited throughout the weekend, with over 1,000 athletes from 41 different institutions flocking to campus to compete in the event which is considered Notre Dame’s premier track and field competition. Sparks commented on the raucous atmosphere of the week, especially noting how his team contributed to making it what it was.
“[It] Felt [electric] almost the whole meet, really,” Sparks said. “It’s nice to be at home. Without a doubt the Notre Dame student-athletes on the infield brought more energy than anybody else. That was something we talked about as a team afterwards. We had some great performances, but I think what really helped those great performances along was the fire that the rest of the team brought to the Fieldhouse on Saturday.”
With just a couple of meets left before the ACC Indoor Championships in late February, Sparks said the Meyo Invitational was key, noting both what his team can take away from it and what they can build on as championship season nears.
“Competing with passion [is key],” Sparks said. “All three event-winners did that, but that was contagious across all event groups. When you’re competing with passion, you’re going to see yourself improve from week to week. There might be plateaus at times … but [the breakthrough] is coming, and so if you keep that same energy and passion week after week, then good things will happen.”
Up next, the Irish will head to meets at Iowa State, Clemson and Indiana before returning home to host the Alex Wilson Invitational on Feb. 16.