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ND Track and Field: ND to compete in tournament

Megan Finneran | Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This weekend the Irish travel to Cincinnati to compete against a field of 15 in the Big East Conference championships. With a regular season full of an impressive number of top-five and even first-place finishes, each athlete is looking to emerge with good results.

The men won the Big East Indoor championship two months ago, and are now looking to repeat their success. Sophomore Johnathan Shawel won the men’s 1,000 meter, senior Jack Howard won the men’s 800, senior Eric Quick won the men’s triple jump, junior Justin Schneider won the men’s heptathlon and sophomore Kevin Schipper won the men’s pole vault.

Heading into the spring season, the men hold 26 conference qualifier spots, 13 of which are ranked in the top five in their respective events. The women hold 17 spots, racking up eight top five positions.

“Before the Big East conference meet, all the athletes are preparing physically by focusing on our training, and mentally by rehearsing the upcoming performance,” Schipper said. “We try to go into the championships well-rested and with a sense of confidence.”

In the outdoor events, Howard holds the No. 1 position in the men’s 800 with a time of 1:48.60 going into the weekend. Quick holds the second spot in men’s triple jump with a mark of 15.46 meters, while Schipper stands tied at the second spot alongside his brother, senior Matt Schipper, at 5.20 meters.

For the women, senior Joanna Schultz stands at the No. 1 position for the women’s 400 with a time of 58.13.

For the seniors, these championships mark not only a chance to improve, but a chance to do their best one last time at the Big East.

“I feel going into my last Big East championships ever that I know it is possible for the team to perform at their best and to go way above and beyond their goals, giving them much confidence going into the national preliminaries,” Matt Schipper said.

The championships kick off Friday at 11 a.m. and will continue Saturday and Sunday.