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Track and Field

Irish compete in Notre Dame Invitational; Seidel wins mile

| Monday, January 23, 2017

At the Notre Dame Invitational on Saturday, both the women’s and men’s teams finished in fourth place, with Michigan and Louisville finishing first and second in both competitions.

Even though it is early in the season, Irish head coach Alan Turner said he was disappointed with the results.

“Our goal was not to go out and kill ourselves and win this meet, but it was to be competitive, and we could have been a lot more competitive in a lot more areas,” Turner said. “Other than Molly Seidel and the mid-distance runners, we could have been more competitive. In our distance races, which is our strong point, we also could have been more competitive. The sprinters, the 400 and 200 [meters], overall I was a little disappointed with. But within the sprinters on the women’s side, [freshman] Jernaya Sharp looked good in the 60. … I told the team that if we are having trouble scoring points at this meet, we are going to have trouble at the ACC when we come back in five weeks.”

Sharp finished sixth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.34.

Heading into this week’s practice, Turner mentioned he will have to address the distance runners and especially the middle distance runners.

“I’ll have a talk with coach [Matthew] Sparks and [Sean] Carlson, we seem to be a little flat in the 800,” Turner said. “We need to work on the mile except for [Graduate student] Molly [Seidel]. [Senior] Jacob Dumford ran okay in the mile. I talked to Dumford before the race and said if we can get that around 4:02, we will be in great shape because his goal is to break four minutes at the end of the season.All Posts

“Definitely need to work with the mid-distance area. [Junior] Samantha Murray looked good in the 600. Kind of hard to say cause we don’t run that event at all our conference, the Big Ten does though, that’s why we have the event in there. But it’s a good speed race for 800 [meter] runners, and so that will go well for her confidence. Other than Samantha and Molly, we should have done better on women distance side. But I am not overly concerned, it’s still early.”

Though Turner said he has some concerns with middle-distance events, Molly Seidel won the mile race in her first race back in an Irish uniform after graduating in May. The defending indoor 3,000- and 5,000-meter champion decided to return to Notre Dame to fulfill her final season of eligibility.

Even though the invitational was the first meet back for most of the distance runners and the second meet for the sprinters, throwers and jumpers, Turner said the meet served as a wake up call.

“I told the team that we haven’t won this meet since I’ve been here, but we have done much better than we did today,” Turner said. “I was looking for better efforts. If you asked the other coaches here they would probably say the same, they wanted that effort. This becomes a wake up call, unless you are Michigan and really put the hammer down. It is a wake-up call for me and the team.”

With feedback from the Notre Dame Invitational and plans for upcoming practices, both teams shift their focus to the Black and Gold Premier, which will be hosted by Iowa this upcoming weekend.

“At the University of Iowa there will be the host Iowa, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Illinois State, Tulsa and Louisville,” Turner said. “Iowa is a very well rounded team, very good in the men’s sprints, and the track is a brand new facility. Last year it was used in the world indoor championships. We are excited to get on that track and see what we can do. I tell my student-athletes, ‘I put the schedule together so that we are going to get tested every week.’ By the time we come back for the ACC, we are going to be battle-tested and be about ready to go. Hopefully we won’t take as many lumps next week at Iowa as we did today. The thing is, each week in indoors you usually see the times continue to drop. … Usually after that second and third meet and definitely when we come back for the Meyo Invitational, I will know exactly where we stand. They will be back into routine, they have two weeks of school under their belts, studying and practicing, so we should be better next week.”

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About Meagan Bens

Meagan is a junior Visual Communication Design major and Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy minor living in Lyons Hall. She serves as a sports writer and hails from the suburbs of Chicago.

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