Sept. 25, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame track and field team will continue its tradition of holding four home indoor meets at the Loftus Sports Center during the 25-meet 2013-14 indoor and outdoor schedule that was released Tuesday by head coach Joe Piane.
The four classic home meets include the Blue & Gold Invitational (Dec. 6), the Notre Dame Invitational (Jan. 25), the Meyo Invitational (Feb. 7-8) and the Alex Wilson Invitational (Feb. 22). The Meyo Invitational, named after Notre Dame's home Meyo Track and host of the famous Meyo Mile race, will occur for the 28th time.
"We like to stay as local as we can during the indoor season since we have the biggest indoor track in the country," said Piane. But during the outdoor season we chase great weather as we look to get individuals qualified for the NCAA Championships."
The Blue & Gold meet opens up the season for the Irish in December with just one away meet following before the end of 2013.
Notre Dame begins 2014 with four meets in January, including the Notre Dame Invitational. Last year, the women's team won the invitational while the men took second. The end of January sees both the Indiana Relays in Bloomington, Ind., and the New Mexico Team Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., to prepare for the Meyo Invitational during the first week of February.
"The New Mexico meet should be a great one for us," said Piane. "New Mexico, Air Force, UCLA and LSU should all be there for us to compete against and will offer us some great competition as we get ready for the Meyo Invitational and later the ACC and NCAA meets."
The last home indoor meet the team will play host to is the Alex Wilson Invitational at the end of February before the ACC Championships (Feb. 27 - March 1) and NCAA Championships (March 14-15).
Last year the Irish had a breakout year at the NCAA indoor meet, as eight student-athletes earned first team All-America honors. These included Patrick Feeney and Chris Giesting in the 400m dash, Rebecca Tracy in the mile, Jade Barber in the 60m hurdles and sisters Alexa and Danielle Aragon, Michelle Brown and Kelly Curran in the distance medley relay.
The outdoor season kicks off with the Texas Relays (March 26-27) in Austin, Texas. The Irish have five away meets in the month of April, including the ACC Championships in Chapel Hill, N.C. (April 17-19).
May consists of six meets that culminates with the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla. The NCAA Championships are scheduled for Eugene, Ore., June 11-14 for those who qualify at the preliminary round.
"There are ample opportunities throughout the indoor and outdoor schedule for individuals to qualify for the NCAA meets," said Piane. "You have to have a wide variety of meets for the athletes that are definitely going to be national qualifiers and the ones you hope can become national qualifiers. This schedule accommodates everyone's needs."
Last year, three members of the Notre Dame men's and women's track and field team earned first or second team All-America citations at the NCAA Championships. Then-seniors Tracy and Jeremy Rae had top-five finishes in the 1,500m and then-junior and current senior A. Aragon placed eighth in the 3,000m steeplechase to all earn first team accolades.