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Track and Field

Irish prepare for road contests in Ohio, Iowa

| Thursday, February 11, 2016

This weekend, Notre Dame will have athletes competing in both the Spire D-1 Invitational at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio, and the Iowa State Classic at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.

Irish head coach Alan Turner said his team had a strong performance at the Meyo Invitational last weekend, which he said sets it up for continued success.

When you have good performances, which we had several last week, you become confident. You start to perform with confidence, which means your aren’t timid but aggressive,” Turner said. “In our sport you have to be confident and trust your training. My athletes know that they will continue to get better as the season progresses, and the Iowa State Classic and Spire D-1 Invitational give them great venues to continue that progress.”

Although the majority of the team will compete at the Spire D-1 Invitational, the team’s sprinters, jumpers, throwers and a few distance runners will be going to Iowa State. Turner also noted that most of his top athletes will be competing this weekend with the exception of sophomore Jessica Harris, who will have the week off, and senior Margaret Bamgbose, will only run the 200-meter dash at Spire.

Senior Michael Clevenger leads a pack of runners during the 3,000-meter run at Loftus Sports Center on Saturday afternoon. Clevenger finished the event with a time of 18:15.56.Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer

Senior Michael Clevenger leads a pack of runners during the 3,000-meter run at Loftus Sports Center on Saturday afternoon. Clevenger finished the event with a time of 18:15.56.

The distance runners competing at Iowa State will be senior Danielle Aragon in the women’s mile, while senior Molly Seidel and freshman Anna Rohrer will compete in the women’s 5,000-meter run. In addition, juniors Chris Marco and Jacob Dumford will compete in the men’s mile with senior Michael Clevenger entered in the men’s 5,000-meter run.

Turner said he has especially high expectations for Seidel and Rohrer this weekend, saying they should run times well enough to qualify for the NCAA indoor championships in the 5,000.

Turner said junior pole vaulter Nathan Richartz is expected to further his successful year with continued improvement this weekend.

“[Richartz] is more inspired this season based on his success at the end of outdoors last year,” Turner said. “Coach Jim Garnham put Nate on bigger poles before the NCAA East regional meet last year and it paid off, as he qualified for and finished 14th at the NCAA meet. He has improved his [personal record].

“ … Nate will have his hands full with the Virginia Tech vaulters. They have two guys at 18 feet and two others right at 17 feet.  He has had some great attempts this season at 5.40 meters [17 feet, 8.5 inches] where his hips have cleared the bar, but his feet or chest have displaced the bar. He is confident and so am I that he will reach the high 17s and hopefully 18 feet indoors.  If he gets to those heights, that should get him into the national meet.”

Although the Irish will face tough competition this weekend at both meets, Turner said he is confident that his team is up to the challenge.

“I always expect for my athletes to be competitive anytime they put on the [Notre Dame] uniform,” Turner said. “That is always the point of emphasis regardless of who we line up against.”

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