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Track and Field

Squads prepare for final regular season meet

| Thursday, February 15, 2018

This Saturday, Notre Dame will participate in its final regular season meet of the indoor season.

The Irish will be playing host to athletes competing for dozens of collegiate teams from across the nation.

This will be the final opportunity for Irish runners and field athletes to secure a spot at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships starting next Thursday.

Irish associate head coach Matt Sparks laid out the team’s goals for the final competition before the postseason.

“This is sort of the last chance meet for athletes to prove that they’re ready for the conference meet, or to tune up for the conference meet … [for] the few select kids who are trying to hit national qualifying marks,” Sparks said.

Irish runners still trying to reach the ACCs are focusing on the details in practice and are trying to get much-needed rest in preparation for their races.

“The [athletes] who still need to earn the right to go [to the conference meet] have backed off a little bit more and been sharpening up a little bit for this competition,” Sparks said. “It could be their last if they’re not rested up and ready to go.”

For athletes who have already qualified for the ACC Championships and are aiming for nationals, this weekend’s meet will afford them another opportunity to perfect their events.

Sparks said the distance medley relay as an event that will see particularly strong competition and may have national implications for the Irish and the other teams in the race.

“The distance medley relay is one of the premier events of the competition this weekend,” he said. “Traditionally, there are five or six teams that qualify for nationals in this event at the Alex Wilson Invitational. We’ve got teams from the University of Oregon, Stanford, Princeton, [from] all over the country coming in to compete in the distance medley relay this weekend.”

The Irish will be fielding a team in both the men’s and women’s distance medley relay. The men’s team will be made up of freshman Yared Nuguse, junior Jacob Dumford and graduate students Edward Cheatham and Elijah Silva. The Irish women’s distance medley relay will consist of seniors Jessica Harris, Samantha Murray and Jordan Shead and junior Kelly Hart. Both of the aforementioned teams will be looking to build upon Notre Dame’s past excellence in the medley.

“[Hart and Harris] were on the [women’s] distance medley relay that … earned All-American status [last season],” Sparks said. “The women’s distance medley relay has been All-American four years in a row. It’s a real source of pride for the women’s team, working to get All-American again in that relay. In 2013, the men’s team was distance medley relay national champions. It’s really a source of pride for both [teams].”

The meet will take place Saturday at Loftus Sports Center, with competition at 11 a.m.

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