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Men’s Track: Competition kicks off Friday

Nathan Dyer | Friday, January 21, 2005

The Notre Dame men’s track and field team kicks off its home season tonight as it welcomes DePaul, Loyola, Western Michigan, Hillsdale College and Michigan State to the Loftus Sports Center. This weekend is the first of three consecutive weekends of home meets.After last week’s away meet at Central Michigan, of which only a limited contingent of runners attended, Friday’s meet will be the first meet for many of the younger team members. Likewise, this will be the first meet of the season for all of the distance runners, as none participated at Central Michigan.”This meet will be used as a measuring stick to determine our progress up to this point in the season,” assistant coach Tim Connelly said. “This will be the first competition for a lot of people, [and] we have a lot of runners experimenting with running different races.”This is not to say the meet will not be competitive, as many look to run qualifying times for the Big East indoor championships. Defending Big East champion Selim Nurudeen ran like the defending champion at last week’s meet, and looks to improve this week.Running out of Friendswood, Texas, Nurudeen has won three consecutive Big East titles in the 110-meter hurdles and last year won the 60-meter hurdles. This year Nurudeen is looking to defend his Big East titles and take a shot at Nationals, where he finished in the top 10 at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championship.As for the distance runners, senior Ryan Johnson looks to lead a talented group of runners into their first meet of the season. Johnson captured the Big East outdoor crown in the steeplechase in 2004, and looks to add more titles to his name as the season evolves. The meet starts at 5:30 p.m. tonight with the long jump opening the field events. Track events begin at 7 p.m. with the running of the women’s 500-meter.