Megan Golden | January 18, 2017
The University of Notre Dame men's and women's track and field teams each recorded third-place team finishes at the Illini Classic on Saturday.
The Irish recorded first place individually in three events, including the women’s shot put, the men’s 600m and the men’s 800m.
The Irish were particularly impressive in the men’s middle distance group. Seniors Jacob Dumford and Patrick O’Connell finished first in the 800m and 600m, respectively.
Notre Dame also performed well in the men's sprints, a squad that has not typically been a strength of the Irish. Senior Alex Groesch (5th, 22.65), sophomore Zachary Zajdel (3rd, 22.49) and freshman Troy Pride Jr. (4th, 22.50) each competed in the 60m final.
“The first meet back from Christmas break is like a box of chocolates -- you never know what you are going to get,” Irish head coach Alan Turner said. “Some of the Irish were looking great in top gear and others were stuck in first.”
Dumford raced to a first-place finish in the 800m, giving the Irish back-to-back victories in the 800m race in their first two meets of the season. Just over one month ago, O’Connell recorded first place in the race.
“The first meet after break is often a big question mark because you have to train alone for several weeks,” Dumford said. “But we had a lot of really solid openers meaning that training over winter break was successful. The mid-distance group was particularly successful taking wins in each heat we competed in, so we’re going to use today as a springboard for bigger performances in the coming weeks.”