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Track and Field: Irish set to compete in meet at Stanford

Laura Coletti | Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Notre Dame will head west this weekend to participate in the Stanford Invitational, a meet known for its highly competitive distance races.

The Irish will bring various event groups to the meet in Palo Alto, Calif., for a total of 41 athletes. Senior multi-eventer Maddie Buttinger said she is anticipating a strong meet for the Irish.

“This meet used to just be distance runners, but this year we’re taking some other events groups,” she said. “It’s a small group for us [traveling]. We’re basically only taking people who scored at the Big East Indoor [championships] and who have done pretty well so far. It’s an invite, so you have to qualify, and the meet only accepted a certain amount of people.”

Buttinger said this meet should be a good test for each event group, in particular for the distance athletes.

“It should be really competitive. Every year, really good times are run at this meet. It was a hard meet to get into,” she said. “It should be nice because we’ll be going up against good people in good weather, and overall the competition will be good.

“For most distance runners this is the first meet of the year, for example, the [10,000-meter] runners, the steeplechasers and the distance medley relays will all be competing for the first time.”

The group of athletes making their outdoor season debut includes junior middle-distance runner Jeremy Rae, who was part of the Indoor National Championship distance-medley relay team. Rae is looking to carry the momentum to his first meet of the outdoor season, Buttinger said.

“This meet is especially known for distance, so it’s really competitive for our distance runners,” Buttigner said. “It’s a really good chance for them to open against some good competition in good weather, and to get a good start early and see what they can do well.”

The Irish have performed strong in outdoor showings thus far, and are looking to continue that success all-around, Buttinger said.

“Everyone opened pretty well at [the Victor Lopez Invitational in] Houston and [the Purdue-Poehlein Invitational] was pretty good, so I think people are looking to build off of what they’ve done,” she said. “We’re all trying to score higher and better our marks for [the Big East Outdoor championships] and to qualify for regionals.”

The Irish will open their first day of competition at the Stanford Invitational on Friday.


Contact Laura Coletti at lcoletti@nd.edu