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Men’s Track: Notre Dame tries to defend Big East title

Eugenia Alfonzo | Friday, February 22, 2008

The Irish will be tested this weekend as they travel to New York to defend their Big East conference title for the third year in a row.

Even though the team has been qualifying members for the Championship since the Blue and Gold Invite from the beginning.

“We worked quite hard last week,” Irish coach Joe Piane said, “We worked quite hard last week, so we’ve been tapering down to let the kids who have been banged up recover”.  

The Irish have achieved over 45 qualifications for the championships since December.

“John Cavanaugh is ranked first for the 800-m race,” Piane said. “Also, Justin Schneider is ranked first for the heptathlon while the distance medley, 4 x 400-meter relay, and 4 x 800-meter relay are excellent as well.”

The Irish hope that the well balanced structure of their team will give them an advantage as they head into tough competition at the New Balance Track and Field Center this weekend.

“Each event has some real quality in it and we’ve got to score points in a lot of them,” Piane said. “The 60-meter race is going to be an important event because Georgetown is ranked first and second.”

The 60-meter isn’t the only event in which the Irish will face a challenge.

“The mile should be real good to watch along with the throws,” Piane said. “Really every event will be good to watch.”

The Irish are prepared to face off against Connecticut, Louisville, and Georgetown, forming four of the biggest contenders for this year’s championship.

“There’s four teams that could win it, and we’re certainly one of the four,” Piane said.

The first day of the meet starts at 8:00 a.m. this Saturday.