Track and Field
Irish head to ACC indoor championships
Meagan Bens | Wednesday, February 22, 2017
For the first time in the program’s history, the Irish will host all fifteen teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the ACC indoor track and field championships at Loftus Sports Center from Thursday to Saturday.
Considering the team’s progress this season, Irish head coach Turner said individual athletes will place, but the team will most likely not win a title.
“I am confident that my top athletes are going to perform, my only issues is that I don’t have enough of those type of athletes where we can achieve those results as a team this week at the ACC indoor championship,” Turner said.
Although Turner is relying on individual athletes to compete, he said a couple of his top runners will be out due to injuries — including three-time NCAA champion and graduate student Molly Seidel and junior sprinter Parker English.
“Molly Seidel, right where her tibia meets her ankle, has a stress fracture,” Turner said. “So we are going to hold her out because if she runs and makes it a worse injury, then she is out for the entire season. So unfortunately she is going to miss the ACC indoor championships. Parker English, one of my top sprinters, she hurt her hamstring at Clemson’s Tiger Paw Invitational. That’s a big blow cause she was expecting to score some points in the 400- and the 200-meters. So we are not meant to be at full strength. The others are going to have to pick up the slack.”
For both the men’s and women’s team, the strong competition at the ACC indoor championship will result in a constant uphill battle.
“It’s going to be tough to the finish in the top four or five on the women’s side,” Turner said. “The men will probably be the middle of the road, they don’t have enough bodies at that level, and last year and this year has been a sort of rebuilding process. The men will be somewhere in the middle, probably around seventh or eighth. For the girls, I tell my athletes, go out there and you compete in your events. And again it is just a sum of individual events and efforts, and don’t let the team not being able to run for the team hinder anything that you have to do in your race.”
Entering the ACC meet, the ACC boasts one ranked squad on the women’s side — No. 15 Miami — and three ranked mens teams in No. 15 Virginia, No. 21 Virginia Tech and No. 25 Syracuse.
Last season, Notre Dame placed third in the women’s competition behind Miami and Clemson. The men last year finished in seventh, a finish which exceeded expectations according to Turner.
This year, despite the several injuries and team’s lack of progress this season, Turner hopes the weekend will result in some Notre Dame ACC champions that will qualify for national competitions.
The championships get underway Thursday and run until Saturday at Loftus Sports Complex.