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Track & Field: Irish set sights on team title at Big East meet

Laura Coletti | Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Irish will travel to Piscataway, N.J., this weekend on the quest for two crowns at the Big East championship meet.

Notre Dame used the majority of the regular-season outdoor meets to build and prepare in order to make sure it peaks during the postseason. Sophomore sprinter Chris Giesting is confident both the men and women are ready to compete to their full potential.

“I think everyone is very prepared for the Big East meet,” Giesting said. “The coaches have worked us all year long to get us ready for this one meet, so we just have to trust our training at this point. We’ve been running hard every meet in different events to get us extra work throughout the year. The regular-season meets are seen as training for the Big East meet because we all compete our best at the conference meet and max out our bodies.”

The Irish expect both sides have the potential to come away from the meet as champions, and a number of athletes seem well positioned to perform well individually. During the indoor season, senior middle distance runner Rebecca Tracy, junior sprinter Michelle Brown, sophomore hurdler Jade Barber and junior sprinter Pat Feeney all won their events. Senior middle distance runners J.P. Malette and Jeremy Rae were both injured during the indoor championships and are looking to make up for that missed opportunity.

In the multi-events, sophomore Carly Loeffel is expected to perform well for the women and senior Ted Glasnow should place well for the men.

This is the only postseason even that is team-oriented, so Notre Dame’s members are hoping to share success with each other.

“This is really the big team event for us all year. Winning this is the last big thing we do as a team,” Giesting said. “Anything after this is mainly individual performances as everyone tries to qualify individually for nationals. The coaches have been telling us all week that we have a great shot at winning the meet on both the men’s and women’s side. It will definitely be close but the coaches have emphasized the importance of every single point, because every point matters in this type of meet.”

Connecticut is expected to be the biggest competition for the Irish. On the men’s side, for the past decade, either Notre Dame or UConn has won the conference meet. On the women’s side, UConn placed second in this year’s indoor meet, and will be looking to unseat the Irish in the outdoor rematch.

Action will begin this Friday and will continue through Sunday in Piscataway, NJ.

Contact Laura Coletti at lcoletti@nd.edu