Feb. 2, 2017
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame track and field program returns home to host the annual Meyo Invitational, beginning at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, February 3 at Loftus Sports Center. The meet will continue at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Forty-one schools, including 39 women’s teams and 33 men’s teams, will travel to campus to compete in the Meyo Invitational. This particular meet, Irish head coach Alan Turner said, will feature several national finalists.
“The intensity level is about as intense as it’s going to get other than the conference and national meets,” he said. “As far as the number of competitors, this is the biggest meet they’re going to be in indoors. Most events will have some national qualifiers, and some events will feature NCAA champions.”
Last season, 10 meet records were set at the Meyo Invitational, including seven women’s records and three men’s records. Graduate student Molly Seidel finished the 3,000m in 8:57.13, a meet record and her PR in the event.
WHAT: Meyo Invitational
WHEN: Friday, February 3 at 4 PM (Day One)
WHERE: Loftus Sports Center (Notre Dame, Ind.)
LIVE RESULTS: Deltatiming.com
LIVE STREAM: WatchESPN (2-4 p.m. ET on Saturday)
Middle Distance on the Rise
The Meyo Invitational is traditionally known for the excitement surrounding the Meyo Mile, which often features several national qualifiers. Given the nature of the competition, the Irish likely need to set a PR in order to win the race.
Junior Jessica Harris set the season-best mark in the women’s 800m with a time of 2:07.99 at the Black & Gold Premier last weekend. On Saturday, Harris will race in the mile and will look to qualify for the national meet, which is just over one month away.
In the men’s mile, seniors Jacob Dumford and Chris Marco will work to break the 4:00.00 mark. Dumford, who finished first in the mile at the Notre Dame Invitational last month, owns a PR of 4:03.01, which he recorded at the 2016 ACC Indoor Championships. Marco’s PR in the mile (4:03.31) came last season at the Meyo Invitational.
The Irish also will see sophomore Anna Rohrer try to qualify in the 3,000m race as she competes in the event for the first time this season. Rohrer, who won the 2016 ACC Cross Country Championship, finished in third at last year’s national championship.
Senior Patrick O’Connell will lead a group of six men’s middle-distance runners in the 800m race, including graduate student Eric Gebeke, seniors Grant Koch and Andrew Stone, junior Kirk Hansen and freshman Clay Goldman. O’Connell, who finished first (1:52.55) at the Blue & Gold Invitational in December and third (1:51.54) at the Black & Gold Premier last week, will look to break the 1:50.00 mark this weekend.
Turner said he has seen the most improvement from the middle-distance group in practice this week.
“Everyone has gotten the jitters out,” he said. “This is the heart of the indoor season, and if you can’t perform now or next week, it’s going to be very tough for you to put it together at the conference meet. We’re getting toward the end here. Only the very elite move on to the nationals.”
In the Polls
The Notre Dame women’s squad currently ranks No. 9 in the USTFCCCA weekly poll, which was released on Monday. The Irish lead the Atlantic Coast Conference, coming in ahead of No. 14 Miami and No. 16 North Carolina State.
The Meyo Invitational will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN from 2-4 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Live results will be available by visiting DeltaTiming.com. For more information on the track and field program, follow @NDXCTF on Twitter.
Notre Dame track and field will take over the NDFightingIrish Snapchat account for the entire day on Saturday. Follow the Irish throughout the day for a behind-the-scenes look at the meet.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.