NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams close out the 2012-13 home schedule this weekend as the Irish welcome in some of the nation’s best for the Alex Wilson Invitational Friday and Saturday at the Loftus Sports Center.
The fourth and final home meet of the year will serve as an NCAA sanctioned last chance meet as participants look to earn an invitation into the NCAA Indoor Championship (March 8-9) by being one of the best in the nation in their respective event.
Former Notre Dame head coach Alex Wilson is the name behind the meet. Wilson was a middle distance track star for the Irish, earning All-America honors from 1930-32. He then coached the squad from 1950-72, highlighted by winning the 1957 NCAA Cross Country Championship. He eventually earned a place in the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame in 2008. Wilson was also inducted into the Canadian Track Hall of Fame in 1954 and the Helms Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame in 1967. In his running days for his native Canada, Wilson won a silver medal in the 800m run at the 1928 Olympics and a bronze medal in the 400m dash at the 1932 Olympics.
The women’s weight throw is set to open the meet at 6:00 p.m. Friday, while Saturday’s action will get underway at 11 a.m. with the men’s triple jump. Free posters and lacrosse jerseys will be given out Saturday to students with a valid student ID while supplies last.
Follow Notre Dame Cross Country/Track & Field on Facebook and @NDXCTF on Twitter for updates, results and photos. Live scoring will be available on UND.com.
Last year at the Alex Wilson, Notre Dame advanced six student-athletes to the NCAA championship meet. Across the board the invitational proved to boast a competitive field as seven meet and three track records were broken. The Irish combined for nine top-five finishes and one runner-up finish (Aijah Urssery-200m).
Notre Dame enters the weekend contest after securing the program’s third BIG EAST indoor title on the women’s side and a second-place finish on the men’s side Feb. 16-17 during the conference championships inside the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Jade Barber tied with Villanova’s Emily Lipari to become the first woman in program history to win the most outstanding track performer award at the indoor meet.
The Irish set three new school records, housed seven event champions and earned 20 all-BIG EAST scrolls at the championship meet.
To date, Notre Dame has a student-athlete ranked in the nation’s top-50 in 14 events, including three members in the men’s 400m rankings , three athletes in the women’s 60m hurdles rankings and two in the women’s mile rankings. Chris Giesting looks to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championship for the second consecutive year after he did so last year as a member of the distance medley relay team.
Following the Alex Wilson Invitational, qualifying roster members will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships, March 8-9.
Top-50 Indoor NCAA Qualifying List:
5. Patrick Feeney – 400m (46.12)
18. Dougherty, Giesting, Buchanon and Feeney – 4x400m Relay (3:08.28)
29. Ted Glasnow – Heptathlon (5,493 points)
32. Chris Giesting – 400m (46.98)
43. Brendan Dougherty – 400m (47.07)
10. Curran, Lalla, Tracy and Aragon – Distance Medley Relay (11:07.32)
16. Jade Barber – 60mH (8.23)
21. Michelle Brown – 400m (53.30)
22. Barber, Brown, Bamgbose and Yanik – 4x400 Relay (3:36.88)
26. Nevada Sorenson – 60mH (8.29)
27. Rebecca Tracy – Mile (4:39.52)
32. Kaila Barber – 60mH (8.32)
32. Kaila Barber – Long Jump (6.12m)
33. Carly Loeffel – Pentathlon (3,915 points)
39. Annie Polcari – Pole Vault (4.00m)
41. Mary Esther Gourdin – Triple Jump (12.54m)
43. Danielle Aragon – 800m (2:07.58)
43. Kelly Curran – Mile (4:41.90)