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Irish look to build on past Big East success

John Everett | Friday, February 18, 2005

The Irish are looking to extend their history of excellence at the Big East Indoor Championships in Syracuse, N.Y. this weekend.This is Notre Dame’s 10th season in Big East competition, and at each of the previous nine Indoor Championships the Irish have placed in the top three. Notre Dame won the meet two years ago and was narrowly defeated last year by Connecticut. Notre Dame’s strongest competition is expected to come from the Rutgers.The Irish feature many athletes with the best in-conference times in their respective events, so expectations for this meet run high. Selim Nurudeen’s 60-meter hurdle time of 7.81 seconds has not been challenged this season. Nurudeen may also run in this weekend’s 60-meter dash and the 200-meters. Notre Dame features perhaps the top three runners in the 60-meter dash, with Dwight Ellick leading the way with his league-best time of 6.81 seconds and followed closely by Terrail Lambert and Nurudeen. Kurt Benninger, who ran just the third sub-four-minute mile in Notre Dame history at the Meyo Invitational, is the presumptive favorite in that race and a contender in the 3000-meters as well. Adam Currie, Austin Wechter and Trevor McClain-Duer are expected to earn points for the Irish in the 800-, 500- and 400-meters, respectively. Notre Dame will also be looking to garner points in the field events. Chris Staron has the third best high-jump mark in the conference this year, with a height of 6-7. Justin Oppel and Dave Viken could both finish within the top five in the pole vault, and Chris Roberts could do the same in the weight throw. The meet will be held both tomorrow and Sunday at the Carrier Dome.