Irie Gourde takes home two All-America honors at NCAA Outdoor Championships

Irie Gourde '17/MA '18 (Photo courtesy Perry Laskaris)
Irie Gourde '17/MA '18 (Photo courtesy Perry Laskaris)

LA CROSSE, Wisc. – Brandeis University graduate student Irie Gourde (Portland, Ore./York Academy, Toronto) earned his second and third career All-America honors today at the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse.

Gourde started the meet with the 400-meter dash. He entered the meet with the fifth-fastest time in Division III this season. After earning the second seed in last night's with a time of 46.99 seconds, lowering his own school record and running under 47 seconds for the first time, Gourde was in the sixth lane for today's final. He made up the stagger and was in the lead for a chunk of the middle 200 meters. Though he was unable to hang on to the lead after the final turn, Gourde reestablished the school record once again with a time of 46.88 seconds to finish in third place – 0.81 seconds behind AJ Digby of Mount Union and 0.35 behind second-place finisher Patrick Mikel of Loras.

In the span of one year, Gourde lowered the school record that had stood for more than 40 years by 0.89 seconds.

In his second event of the day, Gourde ran in the 200-meter dash. An indoor All-American in the event when he finished in eighth place, Gourde entered the meet as the 11th seed and was ninth in the prelims by just one-hundredth of a second. Placed in Lane 10 as a starting lane, Gourde fell behind early but charged around the turn and into the last straightaway to finish in fifth place overall with a time of 21.54 seconds. He was 0.37 seconds behind champion Rodrick Miller of Wisconsin-Platteville, and 0.13 seconds shy of his own school record in the event.

Gourde is Brandeis's first male outdoor All-American since 2014 and the Judges' first in a track event since 2012. His third-place finish is the best by a Brandeis male outdoors since Geoff Getz finished as the runner-up in the 800 in 1999. In earning two All-America honors at the same meet, he joins three others in Brandeis history: Greg Steelman '91, who won the discus and took third in the shotput in 1984; Manny Rivera '74 and Harold Small '74, who both won individual honors in the 880-yard run and as part of the mile relay in 1974.

With his 10 points scored in the two events (6 in the 400 and 4 in the 200), Gourde put Brandeis into a tie for 31st place in the team standings. The Judges are third among New England schools and tops among University Athletic Association teams.

In the day's final race for the Judges, junior Emily Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy) finished in 13th place in the 5,000-meter run. Battling 90-degree-plus heat, Bryson was behind the leaders but at the front of the second pack for the first half of the race. As the event wore on, she fell behind and was unable to recover. Bryson will continue her quest for more All-America honors with the 2018 Cross Country season next fall.