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Seidel sets school record at Meyo Invatational

| Monday, February 8, 2016

Notre Dame hosted the annual Meyo Invitational at Loftus Sports Center this weekend, searching for better results after several meets that left head coach Alan Turner disappointed in his squad.

“I was looking for both my teams, the men and the women, to just raise the level, and they needed to do that because we had top notch competition here in almost every event,” Turner said.

By the end of the weekend, the Irish proved they were up to the challenge, Turner said, especially on the women’s side.

“My women’s team, they really stepped it up. It looks like we should have about four [NCAA] qualifiers based on the times from last year, the times they ran today should get them into nationals,” Turner said. “We had about a dozen personal bests and season bests today, so my women’s team is really coming along at the right time.”

Turner praised the performances from seniors Molly Seidel and Margaret Bamgbose and graduate student Kaila Barber in particular.

Seidel broke the school record in the 3,000-meter run in her first action of the indoor track season and first race since winning the NCAA cross country championship Nov. 21. Her time of 8:57.13 bested Molly Huddle’s previous record (9:08.60 at the 2004 Meyo Invitational) by more than 11 seconds and topped the Meyo Invitational record by more than a second.

Irish senior Molly Seidel crosses the finish line of the 3,000-meter run after setting a new school record on Saturday at Loftus Sports Center.Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer
Irish senior Molly Seidel crosses the finish line of the 3,000-meter run while setting a new school record on Saturday at Loftus Sports Center.

Bamgbose and Barber also clocked impressive times that should qualify them for the NCAA indoor championships in March, Turner said.

“Margaret Bamgbose in the women’s [400-meter dash], she’s a three-time All-American in that event. Her time, 52.52 [seconds] today is going to get her into the meet solid,” Turner said. “And Kaila Barber in the women’s 60-meter hurdles, she had a big [personal record] today, 8.14 [seconds], and that should get her in, that time has gotten into nationals about the last five or six years.”

Turner also said the Irish received key contributions from new-comers such as freshman Anna Rohrer, who competed in the mile run, and crossed the line in 4:50.02 to finish 22nd overall.

“The mile’s not really my main event, so it was really fun to just go out and see what I could do in it, and I ended up running my best time and met my goal, so I was happy overall,” Rohrer said.  

Rohrer said her performance and growth in her young career have been influenced by Irish veterans such as Seidel.

“My training has been really great since coming to school here and having people to train with, especially Molly,” Rohrer said. “Just having that solid training behind me and my teammates cheering me on.”

Turner said he attributed his team’s success this weekend to peaking at the right time and increased energy and effort.

“It’s all a part of our training,” Turner said. “Unlike team sports where you have conference games and you have to get a certain record, in track you can basically mess up until championship time because that’s when it really counts, so we gear our training towards peaking at that time. So we knew performances were gonna come, but what I was bothered by the last few weeks was the effort wasn’t there, and they really stepped up.”

Turner said after what he saw this weekend he knows “my kids can compete with anyone in the country.” Notre Dame will be put to the test next weekend when it splits the squad to participate in the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa, and Spire D-I Invitational in Geneva, Ohio.

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