Jade Barber leads the Irish women's track and field squad, which hopes to continue its rise as a member of the ACC.

Irish Launch Season With Blue & Gold Invite

Dec. 4, 2014

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame track and field teams will get their first taste of competition when they kick off the season on Friday by hosting the Blue & Gold Invitational on the Meyo Track at the Loftus Sports Center.

The Irish will welcome Bethel, Detroit Mercy, DePaul, Marquette and the women’s team from Northern Illinois in what head coach Alan Turner views as good barometer for where the Irish stand at the end of the fall training season.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to see how our fall training has gone, just to break up the monotony of seeing the same old kids running against the same old people, week after week, month after month,” Turner said. “It just serves to get our feet wet, so to speak.”

The Irish are coming off a 2014 campaign in which the men finished third in both the Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championships, while the women were third in the conference during the indoor season and second in the outdoor season. Since moving to a tougher conference after dominating the BIG EAST for 18 years, the Irish showed they are not to be taken lightly on a national stage.

The men return three 2014 All-America honorees in senior Chris Giesting (indoor 4×400-meter relay, indoor 400 meters, outdoor 400 meters) and sophomores Jacob Dumford (distance medley relay) and Harvey Smith (indoor 4×400-meter relay). The women also boast three returning 2014 All-Americans: senior Jade Barber (indoor 60-meter hurdles), junior Margaret Bamgbose (outdoor 400 meters) and sophomore Danielle Aragon (distance medley relay). Giesting (7), Barber (6), Bamgbose (4) and Aragon (2) have all earned multiple All-America distinctions.

At last year’s Blue & Gold Invitational, the Irish won 25 of 33 events and qualified over 30 student-athletes for the ACC Indoor Championships.

The Blue & Gold Invitational will kick off from the Loftus Sports Center at 4:30 p.m. ET with the men’s and women’s long jump. Running events will begin at 6 p.m. with the women’s 60-meter hurdles trials.

Be sure to follow the Irish on Twitter (@NDXCTF) for updates throughout the meet and check back at UND.com for a full recap.

By Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant