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Track and Field

Irish look to improve at Stanford Invite

| Wednesday, April 1, 2015

After kicking off their outdoor season at the Texas Relays and Bobcat Invitational last weekend, more than 50 Irish athletes will travel to Palo Alto, California, to take on a large field at the Stanford Invitational, beginning Friday.

Coming off its opening meets of the outdoor season in Texas, Notre Dame had a combination of positive and negative takeaways, Irish head coach Alan Turner said.

“[Last weekend] was a little bit mixed,” he said. “Some people performed extremely well, and there were other performances that it just looked like we were out to lunch a little bit.”

Among the standout performances was senior Jade Barber, who topped her own school record of 12.93 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing second at 12.81.

Turner also noted how senior All-American Chris Giesting ran impressive splits in the 4×400- and 4×200-meter relays, just as junior Margaret Bamgbose ran a strong split in the 4×400. Turner said he feels like Barber, Giesting and Bamgbose are all coming into top form as the outdoor season gets underway.

Irish senior sprinter Chris Giesting runs in the 4x400-meter relay  at Loftus Sports Center on Jan. 24.Michael Yu | The Observer

Irish senior sprinter Chris Giesting runs in the 4×400-meter relay at Loftus Sports Center on Jan. 24.

“My really, really good kids are ready to run fast this weekend at Stanford,” he said.

Turner said he was also impressed by senior Carly Loeffel, who finished seventh out of 18 in her return to the track in a heptathlon field Turner described as “stacked.” Adding to the list of promising outcomes from the first weekend was freshman Greg Bombara, who finished second in the javelin throw (59.61).

Turner said he was disappointed, however, by the final scores of some of the relay teams.

“I’m looking for much better performances [this upcoming weekend],” he said.

In the upcoming Stanford Invitational, there will be roughly 100 colleges represented, though many teams will only be bringing a few athletes. Those bringing full squads includes Texas A&M, ranked first on both the men’s and women’s sides, as well as No. 6/7 Arkansas, No. 14/12 Stanford, Ohio State, Minnesota, Wisconsin and a mixture of smaller California schools.

“Competition is going to be very good this weekend,” Turner said. “It’s not quite as deep as other meets, but in almost every event, there’s probably going to be someone who’s already an All-American in it.”

After taking a week of rest while teammates were in Texas, the distance runners will return this weekend at the Stanford Invitational, and Turner said he expects to see some good times.

Junior Molly Seidel, who earned indoor All-American honors, will compete in the 5,000-meter race on the women’s side; meanwhile, juniors Michael Clevenger and a returning Timothy Ball will compete in the 5,000 meters on the men’s side.

Junior Danielle Aragon will represent the Irish in the 1,500 meter race.

“This should be a good meet for our athletes,” Turner said. “Everyone will get a good chance to [compete in] their main events, in good weather against good competition.”

The Stanford Invitational will take place Friday and Saturday at the Cobb Track and Angell Field in Palo Alto.

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