Track and Field
Meyo Invitational brings star-power to Loftus
Jack Sirianni | Monday, February 7, 2022
February 4th and 5th have been significant dates circled on the calendar of the Notre Dame Track and Field Team coming into the indoor season. This weekend the Meyo Invitational attracted teams from across the country to inside Notre Dame’s historic Loftus Sports Center. The wide variety of teams in attendance was like a melting pot of track and field teams. Powerhouse programs like Iowa and Michigan intermingled with lesser-known squads like Central Michigan and Saint Louis University.
The Loftus stands were nearly full; many of the midwestern teams brought a cohort of fans coming to cheer. While the events were being decided in the competition areas, there were camps set up on nearly every other available inch of turf real estate in Loftus. The sheer amount of athletes helped provide the perfect atmosphere for such a lauded track meet.
Notre Dame battles stiff competition in track events
Stand-out performances felt certain with so many elite athletes in attendance. The 2022 Meyo Invitational lived up to these expectations and so much more. It provided fans with countless dynamic displays of athleticism in the midst of a uniquely electrifying environment.
In the sprints, Iowa and Miami (FL) dominated on both the men’s and women’s sides. The Miami women’s team picked up the top three positions in the 60m Dash. For both men and women, Iowa claimed all six podium spots in the 600m Dash. Iowa’s seventh-ranked 4×400 relay team breezed to a virtually unchallenged victory.
For Notre Dame, the women’s Distance Medley Relay squad consisting of graduate students Katie Ryan, Erin Sullivan, Madeline King and freshman Katherine Smith took home a first-place finish with a time of 11:27.29.
For the men’s team, in a field of more than fifty runners, Senior Samuel Voelz and graduate student Tim Zepf finished second and third respectively in the 800m Run. Both of these athletes delivered gritty performances that produced a season-best for Voelz and a personal record for Zepf.
Irish shine in field events
In field events, Notre Dame put together a stellar effort. Graduate student Rachel Tanczos had a strong season-best of 21.90 meters in the Weight Throw. That earned her a well-deserved second-place finish. In the women’s Pentathlon, the Notre Dame freshman class wreaked havoc on the competition as Jadin O’Brien, Alaina Brady and Madison Schmidt finished in the top three in that descending order.
Most notably, sophomore thrower Michael Shoaf etched his name into the Irish record books. Although he finished fourth in the shotput, Shoaf delivered a throw of 18.91 meters. That exceeded Shoaf’s career-high by 0.37 meters and shattered the Notre Dame indoor record by 0.35 meters. The indoor record was set in 1972. Shoaf now owns both the indoor and outdoor Notre Dame records in the shotput.
For the long-distance on the women’s side, senior Jacqueline Gaughan demonstrated her proven All-American talent with a season-best win of 16:29.24 in the 5000m. Moving to the women’s 3000m, junior Olivia Markezich had a personal best of 9:08.51, good for third place.
This event proved a chance for many of this season’s stars for the Notre Dame squad to test their mettle against some of the best athletes in the country in the biggest spotlight at home in Notre Dame’s largest indoor track meet. The atmosphere was exhilarating for anyone inside of Loftus Sports Center this weekend and the results of the athletes reflect that.
On February 11-12, Notre Dame travels down to Tennessee. The Irish will compete in Nashville at Vanderbilt University for the Music City Invite.