Track and Field
Alex Wilson Invitational up next for Notre Dame
Meagan Bens | Thursday, February 16, 2017
The Irish will compete at home in the Alex Wilson Invitational at Loftus Sports Center on Saturday.
Unlike previous meets in the indoor season, most schools participating will not be sending a majority of their teams to compete at the invitational.
“This meet is different than most,” Irish head coach Turner said. “Most of the coaches sending athletes the week before the indoor championships will not load athletes in multiple events. A bulk of the athletes will be resting due to the timing. We will be having some of our distance and relay runners competing. As for the relays, most teams don’t put their four best people in them until conference championships and nationals. The medley distance relay will be the one event to watch. But overall most of the athletes will just be in one event and this meet is the last opportunity to tune up.”
Even though not as many athletes will be at the invitational, Turner said the quality of the competition will not be any different.
“The mile, 800-meter, the relays and the field events are the key events this weekend,” Turner said. “The best teams in the country will be there. Our bigger indoor track attracts teams from coast to coast. Stanford will be there, BYU, Georgetown, TSU. It’s a real mix of everything all from the top conferences. No one will be bringing full team though. Key runners at the meet for us will be [junior] Jessica Harris in the women’s distance medley relay, [senior] Jacob Dumford in the mile and medley relay, and [senior] Chris Marco in the medley relay.”
The Alex Wilson Invitational is a non-scored competition, Turner said; Notre Dame has hosted the meet for at least 30 years.
“It’s always an advantage to be home on our track,” Turner said. “We have a 320-meter Mondo track that we are on everyday and we know where the splits are. Also not having to travel on a bus or plane is always good. I hope we will have that advantage when we host the ACC indoor championships the following week when it really matters.”
Considering the overall team’s performance, Turner said the team is not at the level he expected and will have to put in quality training time to qualify for nationals.
“The younger players have not progressed as much as I would have liked them to,” Turner said. “Even the older players have not done as well. The women’s team last year was three points away from going to the championships. They’ve bounced back-and-forth from fifth to sixth place in the conference, and they have to work their butts off and compete against Miami, Clemson and Florida State to qualify for nationals. As for the men’s team, they’ve had a hard time at conference meets. They haven’t had the numbers and have had injuries. There are not as many injuries this year, and they are in the middle ranking of fifth to ninth in the conference. Their competition is Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Florida State because they have the numbers and quality times.”