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Track and Field

Squad looks for momentum at Notre Dame Invitational

| Friday, January 22, 2016

Notre Dame will look to set the tone for the rest of its season this weekend when the Irish host the Notre Dame Invitational on Saturday.

The last time the Irish took to the track, they turned in a somewhat disappointing showing at the Wisconsin Open last weekend, according to Irish head coach Alan Turner. And while he held out many of his top athletes from that meet, Turner said he is looking for his squad to bounce back in a big way this weekend.

“They’ve had two weeks of workouts under their belts, and we’re going to see a lot better performances,” he said. “We’ll be running everyone on my squad that’s healthy and ready to go, so we’ll be at full strength on Saturday.”

The Irish will face several familiar foes in Michigan, Michigan State, Louisville and DePaul, and both the men’s and the women’s teams are ready to make a statement, Turner said.

“I think the kids are really excited to get the season going in earnest right now,” Turner said. “In collegiate track and field, a lot of us coaches really don’t put a lot of stock in those first couple meets, but now the season gets going from here on in. …

“It just kinda gives us a good idea of where we’re at putting our athletes in competitive situations. It gives us a very good competitive vibe to get ready for the remainder of the championship season.”

The meet will serve as the start of the season for several key parts of the team, especially the members of the women’s cross country team, which finished eighth in the country this past fall. Although senior national champion Molly Seidel will not be competing, freshman standouts Anna Rohrer and Annie Heffernan will run in their first home meet at Notre Dame, while senior Danielle Aragon, the school record holder in the mile, will also start her quest for an ACC title.

Senior middle distance runner Danielle Aragon, center, paces the Irish during Notre Dame’s Blue and Gold Invitational on December 5, 2014. She will compete in this weekend’s Notre Dame Invitational.Wei Lin | The Observer

Senior middle distance runner Danielle Aragon, center, paces the Irish during Notre Dame’s Blue and Gold Invitational on Dec. 5, 2014.

On the men’s side, the trio of senior Tim Ball and juniors Jacob Dumford and Chris Marco will compete in the 3,000-meter run, trying to start the season on a high note after a long cross country season. In the 800-meter run, senior Eric Gebeke and junior Pat O’Connell will be the focus for the Irish after the two dealt with injuries, Turner said.

Junior Anthony Shivers will try to build on an impressive showing last week when he came within nine centimeters of the school’s record in the weight throw.

“He’s going to get some really good competition from the Michigan State throwers. They’re really strong,” Turner said. “So if he’s up for the challenge, I think he can break the school record Saturday.”

The Notre Dame Invitational is set to begin at 11 a.m. at Loftus Sports Center.

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About Tobias Hoonhout

Toby is a junior PLS/Economics double major from Smithtown, New York.

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