March 22, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Fresh off a national title in the men’s distance medley relay and two other All-America performances at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Notre Dame track and field program opens the outdoor portion of its season this weekend when it travels to Houston, Texas for the Victor Lopez Track & Field Classic.
The classic, which is set for Thursday through Saturday, will take place at Rice University’s Holloway Field / Ley Track. The collegiate portion of the meet starts with the men’s hammer throw at 10 a.m. on Friday, while the running events start at 3 p.m. with the 4x100m relays. Saturday’s running finals start at 6 p.m. and conclude with the 4x400m relays at 8:45 p.m., while Saturday’s field events start at 11 a.m. with the men’s shot put and women’s discus.
The meet features competition with a multitude of high schools as well as universities including Rice, Notre Dame, North Texas, Sam Houston State, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Texas-Pan American, Southwestern, SFA, Texas Southern, Texas Lutheran, Dallas Baptist, Houston, HBU, Lamar, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State and Huston-Tillotson.
Notre Dame is just two weeks removed from an impressive end to the indoor season. The men’s DMR team of Johnathan Shawel, Chris Giesting, Randall Babb and Jeremy Rae won the national championship, while senior pole vaulter Kevin Schipper (3rd) and senior pentathlete Maddie Buttinger (4th) earned All-America accolades.
Two weeks before that, the Irish men won their fifth BIG EAST indoor title, while the Irish women took fourth, up from eighth in 2011. Four student-athletes claimed individual titles including Schipper (pole vault), Rae (Mile), Patrick Feeney (400m) and Nevada Sorenson (60mH).
The squads will use the outdoor season to prep for the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships, which are scheduled for May 4-6 in Tampa, Fla. The NCAA East First Round will be from May 24-26 in Jacksonville, Fla., with the NCAA National Championships scheduled for June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa.