The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



ND Track & Field: Squad looks to begin season well in meet

Matt Robison | Friday, January 15, 2010

After a long break, the Irish are in the same position as most other students: looking to get back into the swing of things. Today’s meet at the Loftus Sports Center will give the Irish a chance to see how the athletes have been conditioning over the past semester.

In preparation for the scored meet next weekend, Irish coach Joe Piane is going to take a good look at all of his athletes to see what shape they are in heading into Big East competition.

“We’ve had good workouts the last couple days,” Piane said. “We’re looking to see what kind of shape these men and women are in this Friday.”

The Irish have standout performers across the board including the jumps, throwing events, sprints and distance events. The Irish can count on solid performances from each event heading into Big East tournaments.

In the pole vault, the Irish took all top five spots in the Blue and Gold Invitational in December. Leading the pack were standouts sophomore Kevin Schipper and his brother Matt, a senior.

Returning from last year’s squad are All-American seniors Jaclyn Espinoza in the throwing events and Joanna Schultz in the sprints. Expected to make a strong showing are returning Big East competitor Eric Quick in the jumps and NCAA decathlon performer Justin Schneider. Returning Big East competitor Jaime Minor in the jumps and freshman standout Nevada Sorensen in the sprints should also perform well.

Coming off strong performances in the Big East outdoor championships last season with a championship for the men’s squad and a solid fifth place finish for the women, expectations are high for the talented Irish on both sides.

 “We want to make it to the Big East and win,” Piane said. “That is certainly our goal in the short term. For the long term, we want to send as many individual men and women and relay teams as possible to the NCAA Tournament.”

The Irish will begin competition today at 7 p.m. at the Notre Dame Indoor Opener in the Loftus Sports Center.