Feb 5, 2013, 9:44 AM EDT
Track & field meets are full of energizing and exciting events, but none are quite as unique as the still, silent moments right before the gun goes off. There is a nervous energy that surrounds the runners and diffuses across the crowd as all anxiously anticipate the start. Then there is a loud crack, and the runners push off their blocks as they run full tilt toward victory, never stopping until they reach the finish line.
While all races begin in this way, each has a unique finish, and for Notre Dame’s own Rebecca Tracy and Patrick Feeney, their finishes last Saturday at the Meyo Invitational were some of the most exciting of their careers.
Tracy, a senior, won the central event of the meet, the Meyo Mile with a time of 4:39.52. In a dramatic surge, Tracy took control of the race when she heard the bell ring with one lap to go and out sprinted competitors down the last stretch.
“I know this is definitely my favorite meet of the whole year. It’s always kind of nerve-racking following up after the men’s mile even if we don’t have people running it. They called off the names today and my heart rate jumped when they got to mine, but it is definitely my favorite to run here,” Tracy said.
Tracy was accompanied by her teammate, Kelly Curran, who finished eighth overall. Having teammates with her in the race provides Tracy with a sense of comfort, and running with Tracy will no doubt only make her teammates stronger. While Saturday’s meet was Tracy’s last Meyo Invitational with Notre Dame, she is excited about her great victory.
“This is kind of special, and I will probably get more upset about it later, but I’m a senior, and I didn’t get to race here last year, so it’s definitely special for me to run this well here,” Tracy said.
Shortly after the women’s mile, the Irish had another reason to celebrate. Feeney, a junior, participated in the 4x400m relay, but it was his standout performance in the 400m dash that had people buzzing. Coming into the finish in 46.13 seconds, Feeney won the race and clocked the second fastest time in the nation for the 400m this season.
“Every meet leading up to this I have been trying to get my time lower and lower. I knew coming into this meet that I ran a 46.7 last year, so I wanted to beat that and then go from there. I was really happy with the 46.13, and I wasn’t expecting that. I really surprised myself. I’m really pumped,” Feeney said of his performance.
Running along side his teammate, roommate and close friend, Chris Giesting, provides Feeney with added motivation to perform his best. Throughout this season, the 400m duo will surely prove a force to be reckoned with.
“It’s awesome because we’ll practice together, and then we will get home and look up other people’s times in the BIG EAST. Most of the meets that we’ve raced together this year and last year, we’ve finished first and second or within a few hundredths of a second of each other, so we don’t really care who beats each other as long as we get first and second,” Feeney said.
Notre Dame has many reasons to be excited about the results of the 2013 Meyo Invitational. As the Irish reflect on the standout performances at their home invitational, they will be looking forward to competing in the Grand Valley Big Meet Invitational on Feb. 8 and 9.
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