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ND Women’s Track: Irish start indoor season

Ryan Kiefer | Friday, January 21, 2005

Slowly but surely, the Notre Dame women’s track team is being revealed. Each week, coach Tim Connelly is putting forth a lineup closer and closer to the one he hopes will win the conference title later this season. That lineup will come into even greater focus tonight. After sending a partial squad to Central Michigan for last weekend’s season-opening meet, the Irish will have a majority of their athletes competing in their first home meet tonight at the Notre Dame Indoor Opener.Ranked No. 11 by Trackwire.com, the Irish are coming off a solid performance last weekend in which they captured three victories, and recorded personal best performances in the weight throw and 60-meter dash. While last weekend’s meet focused on jumpers, sprinters and throwers, tonight’s meet will have a broader emphasis. “We will be well-rounded this weekend,” Connelly said. “We’re adding some middle distance and distance runners and we’re moving some sprinters to different races. We feel we’ll be a factor in all events.”An issue the Irish have faced in the early stages of the season is the question of training intensity. The Irish have decided to continue hard training in the initial stages of the season in an effort to be in peak condition for the Big East and NCAA meets. Sacrificing performance in early meets is often a result of such a training schedule. Connelly made it clear that competitiveness should be the goal at every meet. “It’s expected that the athletes compete hard in every meet. They are not totally rested for this weekend, but we feel they are in a position to give a great effort and hit some times that will qualify them for the Big East Championships,” he said.Tonight’s meet will feature several Midwest schools including Western Michigan, Hillsdale, Loyola (Chicago) and DePaul. While none of these teams are ranked in Trackwire’s top 25, they bring some quality athletes that will present a challenge for the Irish tonight at Loftus Center.”There will be an increased level of competition [tonight],” Connelly said. “It will be more intense, and I think our kids are ready to take this step up.”