Track and Field
ND finds stride in first meet of spring season
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, March 28, 2019
After a successful winter season, the track and field squad wrapped up its first meet of the outdoor season Saturday at Rice in Houston at the 37th Annual Victor Lopez Invitational.
The Irish were able to find success in the south on several fronts. Sophomore Gabrielle Diederich led the Irish in the field, placing first overall in the women’s javelin throw and setting a new record with a throw of 42.71 meters. In the men’s hammer throw, junior Logan Kusky took a silver medal with a throw of 62.30 meters.
The women’s hammer throw followed, with sophomore Rachel Tanczos placing third with a throw of 59.60 meters, followed by junior teammate Abbey Kaptain, who threw for 49.73 meters to earn 10th place. Tanczos also placed second in the discus with a throw of 49.40 meters and fourth in the shot put with a throw of 14.71 meters; Kaptain just edged Tanczos out of the top three in the shot put with a throw of 14.74 meters.
Not to be outdone, the men’s throwers also put up big performances, as three Irish men placed in the top six of the shot put. Sophomore John Stefan led the way, posting a throw of 17.11 meters for a fourth-place finish; followed by junior Shae Watkins, who threw for 16.66 meters, earning the fifth place spot; and rounding off the throws for the men was freshman Grayson Zinn, who placed sixth with a throw of 15.55 meters.
Also finding success were the Irish jumpers. Freshman Connor Artman placed sixth in the men’s long jump with a jump of 7.14 meters, while Junior Emma Bzik jumped for 1.61 meters in the high jump, earning herself a seventh-place finish.
On the track, the Irish women were well-represented, with three squad members competing in the 100-meter hurdles finals. Junior Summer Thorpe led the way, claiming first overall with a time of 13.63 seconds. Fellow junior classmates Grace Cronin and Naya Sharp followed closely behind, placing sixth and seventh with times of 14.39 and 14.52, respectively.
The Irish will split up into three teams next weekend for competition on the road. Long- and middle-distance runners will be represented on both coasts, as some will head west for the Stanford Invitational, while others will travel east to North Carolina for the Raleigh Relays at NC State. Most of the national champion distance medley relay team will see their first taste of outdoor competition at Stanford.
Competition at all locations will take place Friday and Saturday.