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ND Track & Field: Squad ready for Indoor Opener

Alex Barker and Chris Michalski | Thursday, January 15, 2009

Notre Dame will try to bring its home success into the new year today when it hosts the Indoor Opener, its first home meet of 2009.

Both the men’s and women’s teams have brought home strong results in their first two meets.

The team has qualified over 50 athletes for March’s Big East Championships after just two competitions. In their first meet of the season, Notre Dame’s Blue and Gold Invitational, the women brought home several event titles, top-five finishes in every event and one NCAA Championship meet qualifier.

On the men’s side, freshman Jordan Rincon is off to an especially hot start this year, winning an event in both the meets.

The Irish have been dominant in the pole vault as well, taking the first five spots at the Blue-Gold meet. Junior Matt Schipper won that event, and also finished tied for third in last year’s Indoor Opener. Freshman Kevin Schipper finished second, followed by senior Tray Morgan, sophomore Justin Schneider, and sophomore Andrew Kolbeck.

Several of Notre Dame’s returners have showed marked improvement, accounting for much of the team’s early success. Junior Eric Quick has made strides in the long jump, finishing second at the Indiana Opener after a sixth-place showing in last year’s Indoor Opener.

For the women at the Blue and Gold Invitational, senior pole-vaulter Mary Saxer recorded a four-meter mark to solidify an automatic bid into the NCAA national championships later this spring.

Freshman Maddie Buttinger and junior Jaime Minor took first in the high jump and triple jump, respectively.

In the throwing events, senior thrower Anna Weber dominated the shot put and weight throw competitions coasting to victories in each.

In the 60-meter hurdles, the Irish claimed the top three spots led by Freshman Sasha Blanchard who finished with a time of 9.14 seconds.

The Irish look to continue improving their results as they head into their second home meet of the season, which begins at 5:30 p.m in the Loftus Sports Center.