Track and Field
Irish squad to send athletes to multiple events
Meagan Bens | Thursday, February 9, 2017
The Irish will travel to Clemson, South Carolina, and compete in the Tiger Paw Invitational this weekend, while sending a few individuals to Grand Valley State’s Big Meet and graduate student Molly Seidel to the Millrose Games in New York City.
Although the team was considering going to the Spire D-1 Invitational in Geneva, Ohio, and the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa, Irish head coach Alan Turner said the athletes who would have competed at those two meets are not at the level he predicted.
“The sprinters, throwers, jumpers and a few distance runners will compete at Clemson,” Turner said. “Clemson has a brand-new, banked 200-meter Mondo track and this will be our first time attending. The meet features five ACC teams and five SEC teams. This meet presents us with great competition at a great facility. We have attended the Spire D-1 in the past and had originally planned for our heptathlon and pentathlon athletes to compete, however they have not progressed as I had hoped and will not be competing. In the last few years, we have only sent a handful of distance runners to the Iowa State Classic. We are not sending anyone to Iowa State this year. Molly Seidel will be competing at the Millrose Games in Manhattan in the invitational 3,000 meters facing some of the top professional distance runners. We will have three distance runners, [sophomore] Anthony Williams and [juniors] Brent Kennedy and Kevin Pulliam competing at Grand Valley State’s Big Meet.”
As a majority of the team heads to the Tiger Paw Invitational, Turner mentioned that the other teams attending will pose a challenge for the Irish.
“The challenge will be the level of competition, especially for the sprinters,” Turner said. “Clemson, Tennessee, South Carolina, Miami, Auburn, Alabama and Texas A&M all have had numerous All-American sprinters in the last several years. We will have to be at our best to be competitive. All of the schools attending the meet are also very good at the jumping and throwing events.”
Even though Notre Dame will battle against other quality teams, Turner expects his student-athletes to perform to the best of their ability.
“At Clemson, I am expecting us to post many seasonal and personal bests,” Turner said. “For a majority of the team, this will be their last competition in the events they will compete in before the ACC indoor championships in two weeks. Our throwers are starting to really put it together, [senior] Anthony Shivers and [senior] Indi Jackson especially. I am expecting these two to be very competitive this weekend. [Sophomore] Anna Rohrer will be competing in the 5,000 meters.”
Overall, the team is not at Turner’s desired level of performance, but several individuals are doing well.
“Anthony Shivers broke his own Notre Dame school record in the weight throw, and All-American [junior] Jessica Harris broke hers in the 800 meters and the mile,” Turner said. “[Harris] is our school record holder in the 800 meters and ranks No. 4 in the mile. All-American and ACC champion pole vaulter, [senior] Nate Richartz is poised to break 18 feet any day. … Areas where we need to improve for the women’s team are in the sprints and distances if we are going to crack the top three at the ACC championships. We have been very strong on the track, scoring in almost all the running events at the last few indoor ACC championships. We have 15 days to get it together before hosting.”