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Track and Field

Squad looks to grow at IU Relays

| Friday, January 29, 2016

Following a rocky performance at the Notre Dame Invitational, the Irish will travel to Bloomington, Indiana, this weekend to compete in the Indiana Relays.

Last weekend, the Irish placed fourth at their own meet in both the men’s and women’s competitions behind Michigan, Louisville and Michigan State. Irish head coach Alan Turner said he expects more effort from his team in Bloomington.

“I think [the team] got the message,” Turner said. “If they didn’t, Michigan and Louisville definitely let them know that if you don’t bring the effort, you’re going to be in trouble. … Nothing going to be easy for us. They have to learn how to compete a little bit harder. As a coach, that’s not something I really have to urge them to do, it’s already there. But we definitely got the wake up call last week, and we’ll be ready to go.”

In Bloomington, Turner said the Irish will again face tough competition as Louisville and Indiana present challenges to Notre Dame.

“This season doesn’t get any easier as we go along,” Turner said. “There’s going to be some good quality teams at Indiana. Indiana themselves are getting a lot better in the sprints, so we’re going to have to have a true battle with them.”

Turner also said his squads will run against Louisville again in Bloomington, as well as Alabama, Cincinnati and Eastern Illinois, one of the most dominant teams in the Ohio Valley conference.

The Indiana Relays will focus on the team’s sprinters as opposed to its distance runners. Turner said he plans to rest his distance runners in preparation for the Meyo Invitational next Saturday.

“We don’t have a lot of our distance people going this week,” Turner said. “We’re going to have them run at the Meyo, and we’re going to go for some of our best times of the year at the Meyo. … The majority of my squad will be competing in the other areas: the sprints, the jumps and the throws.”

One jumper won’t participate this weekend, though. Junior Nathan Richartz, who achieved a personal jump of 5.30 meters at the Notre Dame Invitational, pulled his hamstring in the process and will sit out the Indiana Relays. Richartz, along with junior weight thrower Anthony Shivers, have been two of the squad’s breakout field performers, but both have struggled recently. Richartz posted a ‘no height’ at the Wisconsin Invitational, meaning he failed to clear the bar at the meet’s lowest setting, and Shivers regressed .13 meters during last week’s meet after nearly breaking a school record in Wisconsin. Turner said he expects both athletes to get back on track and improve as the season progresses.

“Nate, he had that ‘no height’ at Wisconsin. … He is consistent except for that one blip,” Turner said.

“Anthony [Shivers] didn’t throw as well as we thought he would [at the Notre Dame Invitational] …  and he has a chance again to step it up here at Indiana. The most consistent he’s been is right now in his career. … He’s definitely someone who we’re going to depend on to score some big points for us come conference time.”

Junior weight thrower Anthony Shivers begins his throwing motion during the Blue and Gold Invitational on Dec. 5, 2014.Wei Lin | The Observer
Junior weight thrower Anthony Shivers begins his throwing motion during the Blue and Gold Invitational on Dec. 5, 2014.

Other breakout performers for the men’s squad include junior sprinters Alex Groesch and Harvey Smith. At the Notre Dame Invitational, Smith placed second in the 400-meter dash and Groesch won the 200-meter dash. Both athletes were also a part of the first-place 400-meter relay and Turner said they will both run the 200-meter dash, the 400-meter dash and the 1,600-meter relay along with sophomore Drake Stimson and junior Conner Stapleton.

“Those two [Smith and Groesch] are running great right now,” Turner said. “I expect them to be fast in everything they do.”

The Indiana Relays begin at 6 p.m. tomorrow night and conclude on Saturday.

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About Marek Mazurek

Marek is a senior history major and is a former resident of Carroll Hall. He has lived in Mishawaka or South Bend for all 21 years of his life and covers Notre Dame football and men's basketball. He has loads of hand-eye coordination but lacks the height to be any good. Marek is also a proud esports supporter.

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