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Track and Field: Top athletes head west to Mount SAC Relays

Fran Tolan | Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Irish track and field team will send several athletes to California this weekend to compete in the Mount San Antonio College Relays in Walnut, Calif., while the rest of the squad heads to Indianapolis Sunday for the Indy Relays.

Some of the men’s top sprinters, jumpers and field athletes and the women’s distance runners will head to the Mount SAC Relays, which will take place from Friday through Sunday.

Meanwhile, more than 50 other athletes will drive to Indianapolis.

Irish head coach Joe Piane said that he would like to see some Irish competitors in each meet post NCAA qualifying times.

Last week, at the Miami (Ohio) Invitational, Notre Dame captured seven victories and five Irish athletes qualified for the Big East Conference Championships.

“Our performance [at Miami] was okay,” Piane said.

The conference qualifiers for Notre Dame were Elizabeth Phillipp in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, Lauren Biscardi in the women’s high jump, Kellen Lewis in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, Jeff Mensch in the men’s discus and Mike Schubert in the men’s hammer throw.

Piane added that the team still has several athletes that have yet to qualify but hope to compete in the Big East Championships, which will be held May 5-7 in Storrs, Conn. The coach said he believes that these athletes should be in good position to reach that goal this weekend.

“We rested a lot of athletes [rather than have them compete at Miami],” Piane said.

The Mount SAC Relays is one of the most prestigious amateur meets in the country each year and Piane said he is excited for the Notre Dame athletes who will compete.

“It’s gigantic for us,” Piane said of the event, which features hundreds of teams from throughout the country.

Competing for Notre Dame in Indianapolis will be sprinter Michael Webber, distance runners Vinny Ambrico and Tim Moore and throwers Garet Koxlien and Meghan Horn, among others.