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Track & Field: Irish travel cross country for multi-athlete events

Brian Hartnett | Friday, March 30, 2012

Irish pentathletes and heptathletes spent Thursday competing in venues across the country, with three members of the team wrapping up competition at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas and three athletes commencing competition at the Eastern Illinois Multi-Events Invitational in Charleston, Ill.

In Texas, senior Maddie Buttinger and freshman Carly Loeffel competed in the final three events of the women’s heptathlon, with Buttinger finishing sixth in the final overall standings and Loeffel finishing in 19th place. Buttinger put up strong showings in the long jump, finishing fifth, and in the 800-meter run, where she crossed the finish line in sixth. On the men’s side, junior Ted Glasnow competed in the final five events of the pentathlon, taking 14th place in the final overall standings. Glasnow started the day with a victory in the discus throw, taking first with a throw of 42.22 meters, but struggled later on, failing to register a top-ten finish in the other four events. Irish coach Joe Piane said he was satisfied with the results from Texas, particularly those of Buttinger.

“I would say that Maddie did well, not great,” Piane said. “Her performance might be good enough to qualify her for the NCAAs, but she has done significantly better in the past.”

Meanwhile, in Illinois, sophomore Meghan Moore competed in the first four events of the women’s heptathlon, finishing just outside the top five with a score of 2,710 points. Moore’s top showing came in the 200-meter dash, where she finished fifth, with a time of 26.16 seconds. Junior Alex Bavis, junior

Dean Odegard and freshman Carson Barnes represented the Irish in the first five events of the men’s decathlon, with Odegard racking up 3,134 points, Barnes earning 3,059 points and Bavis compiling 2,329 points. Top finishes included Barnes’ fourth-place finishes in the 100-meter dash and long jump, as well as Odegard’s fifth-place finish in the high jump.

The majority of Notre Dame’s athletes will return to competition on Friday, when the Irish travel to West Lafayette, Ind. for the Purdue Poehlein Invitational. The Irish will send over 60 competitors to the meet, which will feature over 550 athletes from 13 schools.

The Irish will look to continue their success from last weekend’s season-opening Victor Lopez Invitational, where the Irish claimed five victories and several top finishes. The Irish took victories in the men’s hammer throw, won by senior thrower Andy Hills, the women’s hammer throw, won by sophomore thrower Vivien Devaney, the women’s 1500-meter event, won by sophomore Kelly Curran, the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase, won by senior Jordan Carlson and the men’s pole vault, won by senior Kevin Schipper.

“This meet gives a lot of guys an opportunity to get qualified for the Big East,” Piane said. “Some people already qualified last week, so we’ll hopefully get more this week and continue on until the Big East.”

Piane said he was looking forward to watching the steeplechase and several field events – including the discus, hammer and javelin – only offered in the outdoor season. With victories by Hills, Devaney and Carlson last weekend, the Irish look to be strong in these outdoor events.

Despite the team’s strong start, Piane noted the Irish are still far from reaching their full potential.

“Every area needs to improve,” Piane said. “Even if you’re the best team in the NCAAs, you still have to improve, and we’ve got a lot of room for improvement.”

Irish pentathletes and heptathletes will finish competition at

the Eastern Illinois Multi-Events Invitational on Friday, while the remainder of the team will start competition at the Purdue Poehlein Invitational, which runs through Saturday.

Contact Brian Hartnett at bhartnet@nd.edu