Mar 5, 2013, 11:23 AM EDT
Last weekend’s Alex Wilson Invitational saw some of the most outstanding performances for Notre Dame track this season. Not only did the team break four Notre Dame records, but Senior Rebecca Tracy also broke the meet and track records for the mile. Her 4:33.53 minute finish had the entire fieldhouse on its feet cheering and her teammates running toward her in celebration.
“It’s been a super exciting day. We sit down and see the records every day when we stretch and they are right there. I thought I could run the school and meet record, but it’s pretty special to run the fieldhouse record as well,” Tracy said.
Tracy will now see her own name on the wall for the remainder of her Notre Dame career. She admitted that the Alex Wilson Invitational has always been somewhat of a challenging meet for her in the past, but it will now bear a special significance to her.
“This is our last home meet, and I was trying not to think about it before hand, but I am really going to miss running here. To come in and run the mile the way I did today was a great way to cap it all off. Doing it here was even more special,” Tracy said.
Tracy competed in outdoor finals last season, so she has some experience going into this weekend’s NCAA Championships.
“I have to stay calm and be patient. Last year I got to run at finals in outdoor track, but then I got to finals and kind of panicked. Now I know I can run with them, and I just need to keep reminding myself of that,” Tracy said.
Also representing the women’s track and field team at championships is sophomore Jade Barber. Barber is seeded fourth in the 60 meter hurdles with her time of 8.13 seconds which she achieved at the invitational last weekend. She will also be running a leg in the 4×400-meter relay along with teammates Michelle Brown, Megan Yanik, and Margaret Bamgbose. Barber is particularly excited about participating alongside all of her teammates.
“I am not running for myself; I’m running for my team. I get to show off how much they push me and how much we work as a group. I feel really honored to go,” Barber said of her trip to championships.
In her short time at Notre Dame, Barber has already competed in outdoor championships on the 4×400-meter relay last season. She also has experience from the BIG EAST Championships where she was recently named the Women’s Most Outstanding Track Performer for her wins in the 60-meter hurdles and the 4×400-meter relay as well as her second place finish in the 200-meter relay. Barber is anxious to represent her team, and she is hoping to build upon her already impressive resume this weekend.
Sophomore Chris Giesting had another standout performance for the Irish this weekend with his second place finish in the men’s 400-meter dash. He took over the school record from his teammate, roommate, and close friend Patrick Feeney with a time of 46.05 seconds.
“I knew I had to get out hard because everyone who comes to this meet specifically knows that they have to run a fast time. For most of the meet I was just trying to compete my best and get out before everyone else. Luckily I had a good position, and I was able to make a little kick in the backstretch and edge out in front going into the final turn. Going around the final turn I just really kicked it in, and my whole team was at the last corner yelling at me, and I was just trying to run with everything that I had left,” Giesting said of his record-breaking run.
Giesting was anxious to qualify and join his teammate in the race at the championship. He mentioned that he and Feeney will be talking about their strategies and competition all week until they make the trip to Arizona.
“I will be having a lot of sleepless nights this week. I try not to think about it during the day as much, and just do what I’ve been doing. The nights before the race I will try to go to sleep and I will think about every section of the race, where I need to be, and what I need to do. I will be sweating within minutes of picturing it in my mind. By picturing it all, when I get out there at finals I will be ready for it,” Giesting said.
Giesting and Feeney may likely meet in the final race at championships, a situation not unfamiliar to them. Pushing each other the whole way to the end, their race will surely be an exciting one.
Barber, Giesting, Tracy, and the rest of the Irish qualifiers will be traveling to Fayetteville, Arizona on Wednesday to compete in the NCAA Championships on March 8th and 9th.
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