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ND Women’s Track and Field: Irish finish eighth in Big East

Sam Gans | Monday, February 21, 2011

Led by a first place finish from sophomore Rebecca Tracy in the mile, the Irish finished in eighth place at the Big East Championships this weekend.

The Irish earned 56 points in the 14-team meet, which took place in Akron, Ohio. Louisville finished first, with 110 points.

Irish coach Joe Piane said he was pleased with the team’s effort and result.

“They competed very well,” Piane said. “We have a long way to go, but it was a good, solid performance for them.”

Tracy, who set the second-fastest mile time in the nation earlier in the season, won the event with a time of 4:46.61, narrowly edging Villanova freshman Emily Lipari, who finished at 4:46.80.

Piane mentioned that, while winning is an impressive feat itself, Tracy’s youth and participation in other events makes the win even more impressive.

“We’re really proud of her. And she’s young — she’s only a sophomore, so she did a wonderful job,”

Piane said. “And not only was she in the mile, she was also the leadoff leg in the distance medley and ran a leg in the two-mile relay. She did a fantastic job.”

The Irish had a number of other strong performances, which included two other milers who scored at the meet: freshman Alex Aragon (fifth; 4:54.66) and senior Marissa Treece (eighth, 5:01.39). In addition, senior Rudy Atang finished sixth in the shotput, with a distance of 14.73 meters.

Though the Big East Championships were a strong performance for the Irish, there is not much time to dwell on them, as they return home for the Alex Wilson Invitational in two weeks.

“[The Wilson] is a good meet, it really is,” Piane said. “There are always a lot of national qualifiers [that come] out of that meet.”

While there are many quality runners competing in the meet, it’s also an important meet for another reason, as it marks the last time runners can qualify for the NCAA Championships the following week.

“For the Wilson Invitational, we have to figure out where we want to put kids and if we want to try to get a distance medley qualified [for the NCAA Championships] or run individuals in individual events,” Piane said. “And frankly that decision won’t be made until later on this week.”

The Alex Wilson Invitational will take place on March 4-5 at the Loftus Sports Complex.