Dec. 5, 2013
Notre Dame, Ind. --- The University of Notre Dame track and field teams open the 2013-14 indoor season Friday as they welcome Marquette, DePaul and Detroit-Mercy to the Meyo track in the Loftus Sports Center for the annual Blue & Gold Invitational.
The meet gets underway at 5 p.m. with the women's high jump and the men's pole vault. The track events begin at 6 p.m. with the 60m hurdles for both the women and men.
Head coach Joe Piane says that beginning the indoor season at home and before winter break provides the Irish with the advantage of knowing where they stand at the start of the season.
"For us, it's just an opportunity to get a lot of the kids started," he explains. "The sprinters and jumpers and all the field event kids have been training very well since September. They really need an opportunity to find out what kind of condition they're in."
Last year at the event, the Irish won 26 of a possible 33 events while 44 student-athletes qualified for February's BIG EAST Indoor Championships. Of course, this season things will be different, as Notre Dame enters its first campaign in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
This transition contributes to Piane's overall eagerness for the upcoming season.
"I'm excited about the fact that we're going into the ACC--that's all new," Piane says. "I'm excited that we have quite a few kids, I think, who can make it to the indoor and uutdoor NCAAs. I think it's going to be a really new and different season because of the ACC. It's going to be exciting."
Graduate student Ted Glasnow, sophomore Brent Swanberg, junior Carly Loeffel and senior Meghan Moore will also be traveling to Kent, Ohio to compete in the Golden Gala Multis for the Irish this weekend. These two events are the only action the Irish will see in 2013 before the winter break. The rest of the season's events take place in 2014, but Piane says getting this early start helps the teams out no matter how much success they see.
"From a coach's perspective, if someone does well, we can say, `That's terrific. But now you have to go home and work really diligently so we can start at this level.' If they don't do well, we can say, `You can to go home and work really diligently because you have to be in a better position when we start.' So I see it as a win-win for us."
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--Lauren Chval, Media Relations Assistant