Track and Field
Irish prepare for SPIRE Invitational
Matthew Garcia | Thursday, February 13, 2014
Notre Dame will send some athletes to Geneva, Ohio, on Friday for this weekend’s SPIRE Invitational but will rest most of the team as the ACC finals draw nearer.
The Irish finished off another impressive Meyo Invitational this past weekend, with 16 top-five finishes, four event victories and three meet records. Irish coach Joe Piane said his team gained valuable confidence going into this weekend’s invitational.
“We have two of the best lady 4-mile [runners] in the conference and the same thing on the men’s side,” Piane said. “[We have] two great quarter-milers, some really good middle distance people in both genders.”
Notre Dame graduate student Jeremy Rae set a school record of 3:57.25 in the Meyo Mile, his third victory in the event. Senior middle distance runner Kelly Curran also broke the meet record with a time of 4:37.10 in the women’s Meyo Mile while finishing as the top collegian. These top runners have led the way for the Irish so far this season, Piane said.
“In the mile right now, Kelly Curran is ranked No. 1 in the ACC and Jeremy Rae is also first,” Piane said.
Finishing behind Rae in the Meyo Mile were two other Irish graduate students, Nick Happe (3:59.58) in third and J.P. Malette (4:00.92) in fifth. Notre Dame claimed a victory in the 1,000-meter race when sophomore Danielle Aragon came within a second of the school record, finishing in 2:48.70. The Irish also showed off their sprinting ability with wins in both the men’s and women’s 400-meter dash. Junior sprinter Chris Giesting finished in 46.38 seconds, while senior Michelle Brown crossed the line in 53.15 seconds, setting a new Meyo Invitational record.
Piane said one week after his record-setting Meyo Mile, Jeremy Rae will get some rest this week, as will be the case for many of his teammates. After a training session Friday, the athletes who remain at home will take the weekend to rest and recover.
“We are not going to race everybody this weekend,” Piane said. “We are only going to take about 35 kids, split pretty evenly between the two genders. Jeremy Rae will not be racing this week.”
The invitational will take place in the SPIRE indoor track and field complex. The facility has almost double the square footage of Notre Dame’s home Loftus Center, as well as a seating capacity of 5,000 people and a large video board, in addition to the 25,000-square-foot, glass-encased meeting space that overlooks the arena.
On the track, the Irish will face strong competition from Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State. Just three weeks ago, the Irish men fell to Michigan State by just eight points at home during the Notre Dame Invitational.
“It will be a good competition at a wonderful place,” Piane said.
With only two weeks before the ACC Indoor Championships, the SPIRE Invitational will kick off Friday afternoon and continue through Saturday evening in Geneva, Ohio.
Contact Matthew Garcia at [email protected]