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Track and Field: Athletes travel to Michigan for meet

Laura Coletti | Friday, April 5, 2013

The Irish, off a successful Easter weekend at the Stanford Invitational, will turn their attention to the Spartan Invitational in East Lansing, Mich., this weekend.

Although only a handful of Notre Dame athletes will be competing this weekend, the meet will be key for the team to keep progressing and improving. It will also be a chance for some of the younger competitors to put up strong numbers and times.

“This meet is a great meet for some of the younger, less experienced people on the team to compete and put up qualifying marks for [the Big East championships],” sophomore sprinter Chris Giesting said. 

The meet will not be scored, which means nothing will be totaled and no team will be named an overall winner of the meet. Giesting said this provides a chance for the meet to be more focused on individual competition.

“This meet is more informal than a conference meet,” he said. “It’s more about the individual events.”

Last weekend, three individuals had first-place finishes, and the men’s 4×400-meter relay team also finished first. At the Stanford Invitational, senior thrower Madeline Casanova placed first in the discus and senior middle distance runner Rebecca Tracy took first in the 800-meter. At the Oliver Nikoloff Open in Cincinnati, sophomore Carly Loeffel won the heptathlon. Loeffel will compete once again this weekend.

On the men’s side, seniors Dean Odegard and Ted Glasnow and freshman Brent Swanberg placed third, fourth and sixth, respectively, in the decathlon in Cincinnati. Odegard and Glasnow will also compete again this weekend.

Giesting said the men are hoping to use this weekend for some athletes to achieve qualifying times, and for some to continue recovery from injuries earlier in the season.

“Our men’s team has been coming together, in the sprints especially, and I know we are getting a few guys healthy from the distance team that are starting to come around as well,” he said. “We are looking to have some guys qualify this weekend for the conference meet in the hurdles and middle distance area.”

He also said the women’s side has been performing at high levels and looks to continue doing so this weekend.

“Our women’s team is competing great, as well, and are off to a great start for the outdoor season,” Giesting said. “In the first meet of the outdoor season, junior sprinter Megan Yanik was awarded the Big East Athlete of the Week, and last week there were several great performances from the women’s throwers and distance runners. This weekend’s meet is great for working on technique and for competing against some Big Ten talent.”

Events are slated to begin at 2 p.m. Friday and 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Contact Laura Coletti at lcoletti@nd.edu