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Track and Field

Track and field squad set for Meyo Invitational

| Thursday, February 3, 2022

The Irish track and field team will return home this weekend to compete at the Meyo Invitational at the Loftus Sports Center.

The Irish will see plenty of talent this weekend across the board. The visiting teams should include Louisville, Indiana, Miami (FL), Iowa, Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan, Minnesota and Rutgers. With the recent snowstorm, travel could be an issue for some of the teams that have to fly and drive long distances. Still, head coach Matt Sparks is hopeful that all of these teams can make it to Notre Dame safely.

After COVID-19 prevented the Irish from hosting the Meyo Invitational last year, Sparks is excited to welcome back these teams to this meet.

“I’m excited to welcome them back again. It’s been two years since we’ve had a meet of this size, so we’re so excited to get going again,” Sparks said. “I know the kids love competing at home. It’s kind of a peace of mind that you know what you are getting into when you run on the same track at practice every day,” Sparks said.

Sparks also discussed how enjoyable it is to be able to show other teams across the country the great facilities that Notre Dame has to offer.

“It’s fun to show the rest of the track and field world what we have to offer and put on a good show for them from an administrative perspective,” Sparks said. “You want your kids to perform well and you want to be one step ahead of your guests that are competing, obviously. But you want them to have a good experience as well.”

Graduate student thrower Rachel Tanczos has been great this season, winning nearly all of her events, and Sparks is hopeful that she will continue to improve this weekend.

“She really hasn’t put together her big throw yet for the year to get her to that next level of national competition,” Sparks said. “I know she’s working on some things technically that will hopefully allow her to do that. I am looking forward to seeing her have a big throw in the weight throw this week.”

There will be some distance runners in the 5000m and 3000m races that are looking to run fast times this weekend.

“The men’s 5000m has some guys that are trying to run fast,” Sparks said. “In the women’s 3000m, [junior] Olivia Markezich was an All-American for us in cross country, and she is trying to run a fast 3k.”

Graduate student Yared Nuguse will be taking this week off for racing before racing the next two weekends.

Sparks is also looking forward to watching the women’s heptathlon.

“[Freshman] Jadin O’Brien is competing. We are putting that on Friday afternoon, and she was an NCAA qualifier in that event last year,” Sparks said.

Sparks feels that the training is building up well for this team as the postseason begins to approach.

“[The training has] been really well across the board from all the different groups,” Sparks said. “It’s great to come out of the gate with big, strong performances. But then the challenge of being really elite in early January is that you have to hold it for two more months. We felt like we had a good start to the season but not a great start.”

Sparks believes that his team will continue to grow and improve ahead of the postseason.

“We are at a good place to start the year and have left ourselves some room to continue to grow in fitness and technical aspects,” Sparks said.

Events for the Meyo Invitational start Friday at 11:30 a.m. and run until 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, events resume at 10 a.m. and run until 4:05 p.m. Track events after 2 p.m. can be viewed on ACC Network Extra.

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About Nate Moller

Nate is a junior majoring in chemical engineering. He is originally from a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota and is currently living in Siegfried Hall. Some of his passions include running, cross country skiing, and getting too worked up about Notre Dame and Minnesota sports teams.

Contact Nate