Notre Dame looks to qualify at Mt. SAC
Last weekend Notre Dame's men and women runners and jumpers were sent home from the Miami University Invitational in Miami, Ohio, after weather conditions were deemed too harsh to compete. Weather should not be a problem when the Irish take a smaller squad to Walnut, Calif. for the Mt. SAC Relays Saturday and Sunday.
The Mt. SAC meet is one of most competitive on the Notre Dame schedule, and combined with the warm weather, gives several athletes the optimum conditions for earning NCAA qualifications.
"This is one of the bigger meets as far as the quality and depth of the competition," assistant coach John Millar said. "We're trying to get qualifying times for the NCAA, and the level of competition should give them that opportunity. The weekend off shouldn't be a problem, for some I think it might help. I'm pleased about where we're at, we expect them to do well."
Ryan Shay is the only member of either team to qualify automatically for the NCAA's — in the 10,000 meters — but several other men's distance runners such as Phil Mishka, Luke Watson, and Antonio Arce will look to improve upon provisional qualifying times. Those times were earned in Arizona three weeks ago at the start of the season, and the return trip West will be the first time since that the Irish have high expectations of notching qualifying bids.
Alison Klemmer is the only woman to qualify (10,000 meters) thus far and will try to better upon her provisional time of 34:30. Patty Rice is another distance runner with NCAA hopes in the 1500 meters.
"The competition definitely makes it easier to qualify," Klemmer said. "It's been 70 [degrees] out there so the conditions will be better than here."
Of the women sprinters, Liz Grow looks to have the best shot at earning a qualifying time in the 200 or 400 meters after setting a monogram track record in the 400 meters and winning the 200 meters two weeks ago in a home dual meet.
Marshaun West will seek to improve upon his provisional leap in the long jump, and Chris Cochran goes for a qualifying time in the 400 meters for the men.
All Sports Stories for Friday, April 14, 2000