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Track and Field

Notre Dame heads west for Sun Angel Classic in Arizona

| Friday, April 8, 2016

The Irish will compete out west in the Sun Angel Classic this weekend, a meet hosted by Arizona State in Tempe, Arizona. A team of 16 jumpers, throwers and sprinters will make the trip for Notre Dame against a field that includes several post-collegiate athletes and teams like Texas A&M, New Mexico and BYU.

For Irish head coach Alan Turner, the game plan is simple.

“For the competing athletes, the goal is to take advantage of the competition, the venue and the weather, using it to put up some fast times, big jumps and long throws,” Turner said. “[We] just have to build upon the performances from their previous meet and continue to improve.”

Irish junior pole vaulter Nathan Richartz makes his approach during the Meyo Invitational on February 6 at Loftus Sports Center.Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer

Irish junior pole vaulter Nathan Richartz makes his approach during the Meyo Invitational on February 6 at Loftus Sports Center.

In the field department, Notre Dame is coming off strong performances at the Stanford Invitational from juniors Anthony Shivers and Josephine Jackson. After winning the shot put with a throw of 14.76 meters and a tenth-place finish in the discus throw, Jackson will be the only true field performer for the Irish women over the weekend. Shivers won the men’s discus throw with a distance of 54.15 meters in his last performance, and will be joined by senior thrower Nick Hauser, freshman jumper Matt Birzer and sophomore jumpers Hunter Holton and Drake Stimson as the other field participants.

The Irish will also be competing in the heptathlon and decathlon, as grad-student Carly Loeffel and senior Brent Swanberg look to build on strong performances at the ACC indoor championships in February.

The No. 19 women’s team will be competing in a number of its strongest events. The Irish sprinting lineup includes freshman Kyla Lewis and sophomores Allison Bartoszewicz, Parker English, Payton Miller and Jordan Shead. Senior Margaret Bamgbose, who is set to make her outdoor season debut, and grad student Kaila Barber round out the field.

Bamgbose came in fifth overall in the 400-meter dash at the NCAA indoor national championships in March while Barber won both the 100- and 400-meter hurdles at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in her last performance, garnering her ACC Performer of the Week honors last week.

“Both Bamgbose and Barber have performed at a high level since their arrival on campus,” Turner said. “They are very fit at the moment and will be in peak shape in mid to late May. I am expecting them to run very well not only in their individual events, but to also run well in both the 4×100-meter and 4×400-meter relays. Kaila will run the 400 hurdles and Margaret the 400 meters. I am expecting both to post times that will place them in the top-five currently in the NCAA.”

For the men, junior Alex Groesch is the sole sprinter competing.

The star distance duo of senior Molly Seidel and freshman Anna Rohrer have yet to compete in the outdoor season, but Turner is confident they will return soon after dealing with minor injuries.

“Molly hurt her back slightly after the NCAA indoor championships and was scheduled to compete last week at Stanford,” Turner said. “She will probably run at the end of the month or the first week of May. Anna’s had pain in her calf and tibia area for the last month. We are not sure when she will suit up. Probably at the Virginia Challenge meet in a few weeks.”

The Irish will compete this Friday and Saturday at the Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium in Tempe. Forecasts predict the temperature each day will reach the low 80s.

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About Tobias Hoonhout

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

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