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ND Track & Field: No. 21 Irish head to Canada for meet

Kiefer, Ryan | Friday, February 11, 2005

It will be their first meet of the year featuring team scoring, but the Irish are not too concerned about their placing during this weekend’s meet at the Windsor Team Challenge in Windsor, Ontario.

“We’re not trying to place this weekend. In fact, we aren’t going to fill many of the events,” coach Tim Connelly said.

Indeed, the Irish will not be taking a full squad to Canada this weekend, choosing to leave behind many of the long and mid distance runners whose times from earlier meets have earned them qualification into next weekend’s Big East Indoor Championships.

They will focus on training for the conference meet, while teammates who have yet to qualify will make one final attempt this weekend.

“We have a lot of runners who are within a second or even tenths of a second of qualifying,” Connelly said. “We want to give our kids that opportunity.”

After spending three straight weekends in the comfort of the Loftus Center, the Irish will take to a different, smaller track at Windsor this weekend.

The meet will be run on a 200-meter oval at Windsor’s St. Denis Centre compared to Loftus’ 322-meter track.

Connelly hopes to use this meet to gain experience from running on the shorter track.

“The smaller track is most important for our sprinters. We need to get them used to running on the tighter turns. That’s why we’ll be sending our entire sprint team this weekend,” he said.

The Irish, ranked No. 21 in the country by Track-wire.com, will take on a field featuring numerous Canadian schools this weekend.

While the level of competition is expected to vary from event to event, it is generally expected to be less than that of last weekend’s Meyo Invitational, which featured four top-25 teams.

Notre Dame will use the experience gained from Windsor in next weekend’s meet where they will enter as one of the favorites to become Big East champions.