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Track and Field: Irish begin outdoor season

Cole Schietinger | Friday, March 22, 2013

As South Bend welcomes the first weekend of spring with a fresh snowfall, the track and field athletes will head down to Houston, Texas to kick off their outdoor season at the 31st annual Victor Lopez Invitational. 

The Irish will attempt to match the success of their indoor season when 10 team members were named All-Americans.

“It’s easy to be satisfied with your accomplishments thus far, but you still have to be hungry for more,” sophomore Chris Giesting said.

The Irish hope to match their performance at last season’s Victor Lopez Invitational when they celebrated 10 top-three finishes.

On the men’s side, Giesting will continue to compete with junior Patrick Feeney, who went back and forth with him for the school’s indoor 400-meter record this past indoor track season. The two of them accompanied 12 other Notre Dame track and field stars to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2012. 

After a great outdoor season last year, the Irish will face high expectations this season, as 10 of those competitors at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships are returning. Among those competing in Houston are indoor All-Americans, freshman Margaret Bamgbose, sophomore Jade Barber, and juniors Michelle Brown and Megan Yanik

Following an outstanding indoor season, senior Rebecca Tracey is noticeably absent from the list of women competing in Houston. Tracy set the school record in the mile at the Alex Wilson Invitational less than one month ago. Tracy became a first team All-American after placing eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a time of 4:33.53. Last year, Tracy was a reliable contributor to the women’s outdoor track team, as she starred on the 4×800-meter relay team and individually in the 1,500-meter. 

The women’s team still aims to come out strong without Tracy, hoping to build on its indoor Big East Championship. Beyond being conference champions, the women’s team was able to crack the NCAA’s Top 25 during the indoor season and are seeking to repeat that accomplishment this season.

Three Irish freshmen will celebrate their outdoor debuts in Houston. Hurdler Aaron Dunn of Bellefontaine, Ohio and middle distance runner Kelsey Amarosa of Nesconset, N.Y. will join indoor All-American Margaret Bamgbose as the trio attempts to make a splash in their first meet.

The Irish start their outdoor season this weekend at the Victor Lopez Invitational at Rice University in Houston, Tex.