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Track: Irish compete in events across nation

Laura Coletti | Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Irish will participate in three different meets this weekend as they continue to prepare for the Big East conference championships in two weeks.

Senior decathlete Ted Glasnow and sophomore heptathlete Carly Loeffel kicked off competition today at the California Invitational at Azusa Pacific University. Senior middle distance runners Jeremy Rae and J.P. Malette will begin their competition at the Mount San Antonio College Relays on Thursday. The rest of the Notre Dame squad will travel to Bloomington, Ind. for the Polytan Invitational at Indiana on Saturday. Sophomore sprinter Chris Giesting said that these meets will best fit the level of competition Notre Dame’s athletes are suited for.

“Sometimes it is better to split up specific event groups depending on where the best competition is going to be at,” he said. “For this weekend, there is great competition out in California for a few of the distance guys and some multi-event athletes. The Polytan Invite will have solid competition for all event groups.”

Coming off a fun Border Battle meet that featured a rivalry between Indiana and Kentucky teams, Giesting said that the Irish expect the Polytan Invitational to be another very competitive weekend.

“They have one of the best tracks in the Midwest, which attracts a lot of other good schools to come as well,” he said.

The Irish are coming off the heels of many successful individual performances last weekend. Senior Rebecca Tracy was honored as the Big East as Runner of the Week for her first-place finishes. She ran the 1500-meter in a time of 4:17.12, good for a meet record and the fourth-fastest time in the nation this season. Her first-place finish in the 800-meter event was good for another meet record and best in the Big East, at a time of 2:07.12.

Although there has been much individual success lately, Giesting said the team still has work to do.

“The coaches are very pleased with some of these break-out performances, but we are still a long way from reaching our full potential as a team,” he said.

This weekend will be another stepping stone, as the team continues to use its regular season meets to prepare for the postseason.

“This is the hardest point in the year training-wise, because it is the last opportunity to build strength and endurance before having to taper down leading into conference,” Giesting said. “After this week, our training will start to ease up and we will focus toward Big East in a few weeks.”

While the California Invitational is currently under way, the Mount San Antonio College Relays will kick off today, and the Polytan Invitational will begin at 4:30 pm on Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.

Contact Laura Coletti at lcoletti@nd.edu