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Track and Field

Irish host Alex Wilson Invitational

| Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Notre Dame will finish up its 2014 indoor regular season by hosting the Alex Wilson Invitational at Loftus Sports Complex on Saturday.

The meet is Notre Dame’s final competition prior to the ACC Indoor Championships, held in Clemson, S.C., at the end of the month. Following the Indoor Championships, the outdoor season begins March 26. Last weekend, the Irish faced their final road meet, the SPIRE Invitational in Geneva, Ohio and came away with 15 top-five finishes.

Irish sophomore middle-distance runner Danielle Aragon, right, competes during the Notre Dame Invitational on Jan. 25.Joseph Monardo | The Observer

Irish sophomore middle-distance runner Danielle Aragon, right, competes during the Notre Dame Invitational on Jan. 25.

Graduate student and multiple-event athlete Ted Glasnow notched Notre Dame’s lone victory with his performance in the men’s heptathlon. Other key performances included a fourth-place finish by junior sprinter Josh Atkinson (6.83) in the 60-meter dash and senior sprinter Pat Feeney (46.39) and junior sprinter Chris Giesting (46.44) finishing second and third, respectively, in the 400-meter dash.

The namesake of the Alex Wilson Invitational is the 1932 Notre Dame graduate, who was a three-time All American for the Irish. Wilson also won four medals — three bronzes and a silver — while competing for Canada in the 1928 and 1932 Olympics. After his running career finished, Wilson coached Notre Dame track and field and cross-country from 1950 to 1972. He found a spot in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008. In the spirit of Wilson’s legacy, Irish coach Joe Piane said this weekend’s goals were to get as many runners qualified for the NCAA championships as possible.

“This is a great opportunity to not only improve their seed times for the ACC meet, but certainly to get qualified for the NCAA championships,” he said. “That’s really the thrust this weekend. One of our goals is to get the women’s distance medley qualified, same thing on the men’s side. I don’t want to wait until the ACC’s to do it, I’d rather get it done this weekend.”

The women’s distance medley team finished second behind Michigan at the SPIRE Invitational with a time of 11:08.58. The medley has a great deal of experience, with three seniors — middle distance runner Alexa Aragon, sprinter Michelle Brown and middle distance runner Kelly Curran — leading the way. Sophomore middle distance runner Danielle Aragon rounds out the group.

While the Irish are focused on the postseason, Piane said he’s still had time to notice the impressive performance of this season’s freshmen class.

“The freshmen have been doing well,” Piane said. “[Distance runner] Taylor Driscoll has been doing a very good job on the women’s side. [Middle distance runner Jacob] Dumford and [middle distance runner Chris] Marco have been doing very, very well on the other side, along with some other freshmen. We’ve got a pretty good group of freshmen athletes, we’re excited.”

The Irish will be competing at the Alex Wilson Invitational all day Saturday at Loftus Sports Complex.

Contact Casey Karnes at wkarnes@nd.edu

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