Track and Field
Notre Dame readies for three meets
Joe Everett | Thursday, March 30, 2017
Beginning Thursday, the Irish will continue their spring season as they returns to action across the country this weekend. The team will split up to participate in three meets: the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, in Austin, Texas, the Bobcat Invitational, in San Marcos, Texas, and the Stanford Invitational, in Palo Alto, California.
Irish head coach Alan Turner highlighted the prestige of the meets this weekend, and is looking for his team to shine on the big stage.
“The Texas Relays are, if not the premier, one of the premier events in the country for sprinters,” Turner said. “All the major sprint programs in the country will be in attendance. We’re going to be tested because most of my sprinters are young, so if you make the finals at the Texas Relays, you’re somebody who will definitely be at the national championships.
“One person who I’m looking to do particularly well is [senior pole-vaulter] Nate Richartz. About half the guys who were first-team all-Americans at the indoor championships will be at the Texas Relays, so he’s going to be tested. If he [clears] 18 feet, he has a pretty good shot at winning it. He’s probably our best bet for the athletes going to the Texas Relays to place in the top three.”
Several younger sprinters and jumpers will be joining seniors Tommy Grant and Taylor Craft to compete at the Bobcat Invitational, and while most of Notre Dame’s sprinters, jumpers and throwers will be competing with Richartz in Austin, Turner noted that he his highest hopes lie with sophomore Anna Rohrer and the distance team, who will be making the trip out to Palo Alto.
“I’m looking for some very stellar performances,” Turner said. “The Stanford meet is similar to the Texas Relays — a lot of top distance people will be out [in Palo Alto] — conditions will be ideal for the distance runners. I’m looking for Anna Rohrer to pick up where she left off indoors. This will be her 10,000-meters debut, but based off her training and what she’s done in the 5,000-meters, she’s gonna go out and run an honest pace from start to finish. We think she can be under 32:30, which would be one of the top times in the country.”
Coming off of a personal record set at the Raleigh Relays, graduate student Sydni Meunier will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Junior Jessica Harris will join graduate student Danielle Aragon and several others to compete in the 800-meter run, and sophomore Annie Heffernan — who will make her return to the track for the first time since last year’s ACC championships — will run in the 5,000-meters.
“When Annie’s healthy, she’s the number two or three distance runner on the team, so we’re looking for big things from her this weekend,” Turner said.
Turner also gave a quick update on the status of star graduate student and distance runner Molly Seidel, who is recovering from an ankle injury, and said that Seidel may be available to run the 10,000-meter as a late entry.
“With [Molly] we don’t want to rush things, but at the same time we want her to get some races in before we actually run at the ACC championships, regionals and the national championship,” Turner said. “If she’s ready to run that’s great, if not we’re going to hold her out until we travel to Virginia in a couple weeks.”