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ND Track & Field: Piane looking for qualifying times

Joe Meixell | Friday, February 11, 2005

With only one week left before the Big East Indoor Championships, and two before the USATF Indoor Championships, the Irish are looking to peak at just the right time. The team heads to Windsor, Ontario, to compete with the University of Detroit and four Canadian schools in the Windsor Team Challenge Saturday.

Though it is a scoring meet, the Irish will not be sending a full contingent of athletes to Windsor – instead, they will only send a group of sprinters to the competition. Irish coach Joe Piane’s skeleton crew will consist of about 20 sprinters who have all qualified for Big East competition.

“They run on a 200-meter track in Windsor,” Piane said, “Which is something that our runners have yet to do this year, [having run] most of their races on a larger track.” The smaller track will provide the Irish with a change of pace in their final tune-up for the Big East.

Sprinting coach John Millar is looking forward to the meet, as it will give the runners a chance to run in different races from what many are used to.

“They run a 300-meter and a 600-meter as opposed to our usual 200-meter and 400-meter races,” Millar said.

Leading the charge for the Irish will again be senior hurdler Selim Nurudeen, who boasts three consecutive 110-meter hurdles Big East Championships and looking to repeat as 60-meter hurdles Big East champion. Nurudeen has separated himself from not only his fellow Irish teammates, but also the majority of hurdlers nationwide.

“Selim’s breakthrough year was last year,” Millar said, referring to Nurudeen’s two Big East championships and his qualification for the NCAA Championships. “This year he has really risen to the top as one of the premier hurdlers in the country.”

After a great overall team effort at last week’s Meyo Invitational, the skeleton crew heads north looking to take home top honors in its final preparation for the Big East.

Nathan Dyer