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Track and Field

Women take third; men finish 12th at ACC indoor championships

| Tuesday, March 3, 2015

At the ACC championship meet Feb. 26-28, the women’s track and field team finished 3rd overall out of 15 teams, while the men finished 12th out of 15 teams in Blacksburg, Virginia.

“We finished where I thought we would finish,” Turner said of the women’s third-place performance. “Once I looked at the rest of the conference was doing, I felt third was where we would get, with a very good chance of getting second; we were only seven points out of second. Finishing third was a good, solid effort for the women’s team.”

For the women, junior Molly Seidel turned in a star performance as she won both the 5,000 meters and the 3,000 meters as well as the women’s Most Valuable Track Performer award for the meet. Turner said he knew Seidel could run so well because she had been all season.

“The whole indoor season, [Seidel] had been doing well,” Turner said. “That followed up what she did this fall finishing 19th at the NCAA cross country championships. She’s been pretty much injury free, but the main thing for Molly was her self-confidence. She’s extremely confident in her abilities. She and coach Matt Sparks did a great job of tying up her indoor season.”

Irish junior Molly Seidel races last fall at the National Catholic Championships. Seidel was named the Most Valuable XXXXXX at the ACC championships this weekend.Wei Lin | The Observer

Irish junior Molly Seidel races last fall at the National Catholic Championships. Seidel was named the women’s Most Valuable Track Performer at the ACC championships this weekend.

Another winning performance for the Irish on the women’s side came with junior Margaret Bamgbose winning the 400 meters with a time of 52.10 seconds. Turner said Bamgbose’s performance impressed him.

“She has that level of self-confidence,” Turner said. “She’s only lost one 400-meter race all season. I knew coming in that she could win [the 400-meter race] or she could be second or she could be third. … We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Margaret went out and established the lead early, and she’s always been a strong finisher. Once she had the lead midway through, I knew it was going to be tough for the rest of the girls to catch her.”

Though the women finished third, the men finished 12th, a result Turner said was disappointing. Turner also mentioned that injuries played a role in the performance at the meet.

“Well, obviously I’m disappointed that we finished so low,” Turner said. “All year long, I thought we’d be a middle of the road team in the ACC. But unfortunately for us, we just had so many untimely injuries on the men’s side. You can enter up to 30 athletes for the championship. We only took 21, and that’s basically who we had healthy. We have a good team, but the scores don’t reflect that.”

Despite the poor overall showing, Turner said he was pleased with senior Chris Giesting’s performance in the 400 meters.

“[Giesting] was coming into the meet banged up,” Turner said. “He hadn’t run in over a month. If he had another week, he would win pretty easily. His getting second was pretty good. The relay had a good, solid effort there too.”

Next for the Irish is the NCAA championship meet in two weeks from March 13-14. There, Turner said he hopes to see good performances from his experienced athletes.

“We only have one man who qualified: Chris Giesting in the 400 meters,” Turner said. “He’s an indoor All-American. On the women’s side, we’re also going to have Margaret [Bamgbose] in the 400 meters. It’s her first time running in the indoor nationals; she was an outdoor All-American last year. Jade Barber in the 60-meter hurdles, this will be her third time going in the indoor nationals. She’s been an indoor All-American the last two years, so I would expect that to continue. And then we have Molly Seidel running the 5,000 meters. Everyone we have going has an excellent shot of being first-time All-American.”

The NCAA indoor track and field championships will be held in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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About Marek Mazurek

Marek is a senior history major and is a former resident of Carroll Hall. He has lived in Mishawaka or South Bend for all 21 years of his life and covers Notre Dame football and men's basketball. He has loads of hand-eye coordination but lacks the height to be any good. Marek is also a proud esports supporter.

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