Feb. 25, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame track & field program will look to build upon its strong first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference when it heads to the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships, opening Thursday at Rector Field House at Virginia Tech.
The Irish women, who finished third in last year’s championships, will try to bottle the momentum from a 21-spot jump in the most recent USTFCCCA rankings, cracking the top 25 to sit at No. 24 after a strong weekend at the Alex Wilson Invitational. Four Irish women have broken seven school records this season, and they will aim to continue making the case for both conference titles and bids to the NCAA Championships.
“We think we can definitely be in the mix of the top three teams on the women’s side,” head coach Alan Turner said. “(No. 15) Clemson looks like they’ll be the favorite, with (No. 22) Florida State up there as well. We’ll probably be battling Miami and Duke for that third spot. Hopefully things work out and we can get second or, if everything lines up perfectly, we can win the thing.”
Junior Margaret Bamgbose, a two-time All-American in the outdoor 400 meters, is Notre Dame’s top entry in the indoor field. Bamgbose placed second in the indoor 400 meters at last season’s conference meet and, this season, has claimed the school record in that event while recording the ACC’s second-best time. She will also anchor the 4×400-meter relay, in which she is also an All-American and All-ACC honoree, and the 200 meters.
Junior Molly Seidel will take part in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meter races, that latter of which she broke the school record in earlier this season at the Iowa State Classic (15:54.45), good for the ACC’s second-best time. Senior Emily Morris will compete in both shot put (school record, 16.03m) and weight throw. Morris’ shot put mark is also No. 2 in the conference, just 0.09 meters off the top mark.
The Irish will also look for major points from All-Americans Danielle Aragon (mile, 3,000 meters) and Jade Barber (60 meters, 60-meter hurdles). Aragon own’s the ACC’s No. 2 mile time this season, while Barber’s season-best 8.22 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, the event in which she claimed the gold last season, is tops in the conference this season.
Highlighting Notre Dame’s male contingent is seven-time All-American and last year’s Most Valuable Performer at the ACC Championships, Chris Giesting. The senior has recorded Notre Dame records in the 200 meters and 600 meters this season, and also tops the Irish books in the 400 and 500 meters. His 200 meter time (21.02) is third in the ACC this season and he placed second in the event at last year’s championships. His 400 mark (45.98) is tops in the conference, also mirroring last year’s ACC Championship winner. Giesting will also anchor the 4×400-meter relay, along with Eric Ways, Harvey Smith and Alex Groesch.
The 2015 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships will take place Thursday through Saturday in Blacksburg, Virginia. Live results will be available throughout the event, the finals of which will be broadcast on ESPN3 on Saturday. To keep up with the Irish, follow @NDXCTF on Twitter and like Notre Dame Cross Country/Track & Field on Facebook.
Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant