Drake Relays, Purdue Invite prepare runners for Big East
By BRIAN BURKE
With the Big East Championships one week away, the Notre Dame men's and women's track and field teams took a small group to Des Moines, IA for one final tune-up at the prestigious Drake Relays. While the Irish faced some stiff competition, several athletes turned in performances that can provide encouragement going into the conference meet.
"Collectively we ran pretty well. Individually we all might have been able to run better but there were no bad races," sophomore Luke Watson said. "We were pleased with the performance. It was just a big race and a fast race. Stanford was in our race and a bunch of other tough teams."
Senior Tim Kober's NCAA qualifying 800 meter time of one minute, 48 seconds was the highlight of the Drake meet for Notre Dame. Along with Kober, another solid race came from the men's 4x1600 meter relay team of Watson, Pat Conway, Sean Zanderson, and John Dudley which placed eighth with a time of 16:45.17.
"The 4x1600 meter relay, the time they ran was three seconds faster than the winner from last year. There was great competition in that race," Piane said.
Thompson's discus throw of 175 feet four inches was good for 10th at Drake. He also threw the hammer 155 feet, nine inches.
Meanwhile Engelhardt's high jump of 5-8 3/4 gave her the highest finish for the women, a tie for fourth. Besides Volkmer pole vaulting her PR of 11-5 1/4, she also triple jumped 38-1 1/2.
One group that did struggle was the men's 4x100 meter relay squad of Chris Cochran, Travis Davey, Tom Gilbert, and Marshaun West. They finished third in their heat running their race in 41.06 seconds.
"Our exchanges didn't go well," said Davey. "We ran well, but the passes hurt us."
"The 4x100's exchanges were a bit suspect," Piane said.
While Piane thought the team overall did well, he also realized many of the top athletes were using this week to rest for the Big East Championships.
"[The week off] is definitely going to help. Guys like Ryan Shay who are running in a 10,000, the last thing they needed would have been a hard mile or 5,000 this week."
In addition to the group traveling to Drake, the Irish also sent a team to West Lafayette for the Purdue Invitational.
In that meet a pair of women's distance runner took the top spot in their respective races. Chrissy Kuenster finished first in the 3,000 meters with a time of 10:16.67, while Anne McGrath ran the 10,000 meters in 38:28.79. Ana Morales finished second in the 800 meters with a time of 2:13.68, and Kymia Love placed third in the 400 meters, clocking in at 57.22.
For the men, Terry Wray ran a good 200 meter race, finishing second with a time of 22.42. Mike Griewe and Ryan Maxwell finished first and second in the 5,000 with times of times of 14:54.48 and 15:00.17 respectively.
All Sports Stories for Monday, May 1, 2000