Track and Field
Irish to travel smaller team down to Bloomington before Meyo
Joe Everett | Friday, January 25, 2019
After hosting the Blue and Gold Invitational last weekend, Notre Dame will travel to Bloomington, Indiana, to compete at the IU Relays at Gladstein Fieldhouse.
Following a comeback effort by junior Logan Kusky in the men’s weight throw, the men’s team tied ACC foe Louisville with a score of 126 points for first place at the Blue and Gold Invitational last weekend. On the other side of the meet, the women team’s earned 121 points, finishing second behind the Cardinals. Irish head coach Matt Sparks, in his first season leading the program after spending the previous four as an assistant coach, commented that the team drew a lot of positives from the five-team meet at Loftus Sports Center.
“That meet’s fun because it’s got a bit of a team atmosphere about it that we don’t really find until we get to the conference meet with it being a scored competition,” Sparks said. “Being at home, I think there was an extra level of energy with the team as well, and so I saw a lot of kids step up into leadership and contributing roles that we don’t traditionally see maybe until later in the season. It also allowed so people who aren’t our top-end kids who score points at the conference meet to step up a little bit because they found a niche where they could contribute to the team’s success on the day. So, it was good energy across the board because everybody that competed that day saw a spot where they could contribute, and that was fun to see.”
The Irish will travel a smaller team to Bloomington, and Sparks commented that it will be a unique opportunity for individuals to either run in a different event or focus on a singular one, treating the weekend as a preparation for something bigger down the road.
“Some of the sprinters are moving down an event,” Sparks said. “The 400-meter runners — some of them are moving down and running a 200-meter. Some of the field event people — we’ve got some long jumpers that run the 60-meters or the hurdles — but at this event they’re probably just picking one event to do as they get rested for next week but also just give themselves a chance to just do the one event and maybe a shine a little bit on that. The distance runners are going to take the weekend off, and get ready to do something big next week.”
The big event Sparks is referring to is Notre Dame’s Meyo Invitational, which will be held the following Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1 and 2, at Loftus Sports Center. The meet attracts some of the country’s premier talent, with its most famous event being the “Meyo Mile.” The Irish have their sights set on a big performance at home with the Invitational on the horizon; as such, for Sparks and Notre Dame, the IU Relays serve as preparation and a chance for some stars to rest.
“This is a bit of a tune-up for us leading into next week’s Meyo Invitational, which is our biggest, most competitive home meet of the year,” Sparks said. “So we’re running some kids in some different events and resting [a lot of] distance kids — the majority of them will not compete this weekend — as we tune up and make sure we’re ready for the big one next week.”
The IU Relays are a two-day event that will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday with the 60-meter dash heptathlon event. Field events are set to start at 5:35 p.m. The meet continues on Saturday with the pentathlon 60-meter hurdles at 9 a.m., while field events begin a little later at 9:35 a.m. with the high jump portion of the pentathlon.