Track and Field
Taking on top national talent, Notre Dame has high expectations from record-setting distance medley relay
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, February 21, 2019
After a record-setting weekend at the Alex Wilson Invitational, Notre Dame will travel to Blacksburg, Va., to compete at the ACC Championships this weekend. The three-day meet will start on Thursday and will extend through Saturday.
While competing at the ACC Championships is an accomplishment in and of itself, the primary goal for every athlete this weekend is to record a good enough mark to qualify for the NCAA Championships next weekend. Last season, eight members of the Irish team, consisting of both the men’s and women’s distance medley relay teams, qualified for nationals in the 2017-18 indoor season, three of whom are currently on the 2018-19 roster.
Looking to return to the NCAA Championships, the men’s distance medley relay team put themselves on the national scene last weekend at the Alex Wilson Invitational when it posted a time of 9:26.10 — the best time in the nation this year and the second-best time in NCAA history. The relay team consists of two new members in freshman Dylan Jacobs and sophomore Samuel Voelz, who join senior Edward Cheatham and sophomore Yared Nuguse. The teams splits were Jacobs (2:55, 1200-meter), Cheatham (0:47, 400-meter), Voelz (1:48, 800-meter) and Nuguse (3:54 mile). Last season, Cheatham and Nuguse led the team to a silver medal at the NCAA championship with a time of 9:31.22. The men will face the winners of the DMR last year at ACCs in distance powerhouse Virginia Tech, but are considered the favorites heading into the event after their record-setting time last weekend. Both the men’s and women’s DMR finals will take place on the first day of the ACC Championships on Thursday, along with the heptathlon and pentathlon events.
In addition to their performances on the track, the Irish have shown raw talent in the field. Junior Logan Kusky broke his own school record for the third time this season in the weight throw with a toss of 21.13 meters, while on the women’s side, junior Abbey Kapitan broke the weight throw record with a mark of 20.13 meters — just after her teammate, freshman Rachel Tanczos, broke the previous record with a throw of 20.12 meters right before Kapitan competed.
Friday’s schedule of events includes the high jump, long jump, weight throw, women’s pole vault, the 5000-meter run and the prelims of the 1600-meter run, the 60-meter hurdles, the 400, the 60-meter dash, the 800 and the 200-meter dash.
Saturday’s schedule of events includes the shot put, triple jump, men’s pole vault and the finals of the 1600, the 60-hurdles, the 400, the 60-dash, the 800, the 200, the 3000-meter run and capped off by the 4×400-meter relay.
The ACC Championship will take place this week starting Thursday at Rector Fieldhouse at Virginia Tech University. Competition will begin on Thursday at 6 p.m. and will start at noon on both Friday and Saturday.