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Track & Field: Irish succeed in Alabama

Observer Staff Report | Friday, March 25, 2011

The Irish travel to different regions of the country this weekend to participate in three separate invitationals. The contests should provide a glimpse of how the team stacks up against elite competition with the Big East championships quickly approaching.

The Alabama Relays began on Thursday, and although the Irish only had four athletes in the competition, each came ready to play.

The Irish featured three athletes finish in the top-20 in the men’s decathlon at the event. Senior Justin Schneider came in second place, sophomore Dean Odegard came in seventh place and fellow sophomore Alex Bavis finished in 19th place.

Junior Maddie Buttinger stood out on the women’s side by coming in third place overall in the decathlon.

22 athletes travel to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Stanford Invitational that takes place Friday and Saturday. The Notre Dame distance runners will have a chance to qualify for NCAA regionals during the competition.

Notre Dame’s All-American distance medley relay team will be competing at Stanford as well. Graduate student and 2009 cross country All-American Lindsey Ferguson will be participating for the Irish.

The Arizona State Invitational held on Friday and Saturday also provides an opportunity for the sprinters and field competitors, 23 in all, to qualify for the regionals.

All-American freshman Patrick Feeney leads the sprinters in the relay, while senior Rudy Atang hopes to finish his illustrious shot-putting career at Notre Dame strong with an NCAA berth.