Track and Field teams head to Notre Dame

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

Eastern’s track and field teams are back in action this weekend for the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational.

Coach Tom Akers said he expects excellent competition at Notre Dame.

“We’ve seen the University of Georgia, we’ve seen Florida, Alabama, so some SEC school might be there,” he said. “Probably a number of Big Ten schools. A lot of it depends on year to year, but it’s some excellent competition.”

There will be no team scores held at the Notre Dame Meyo Invite just like last week at the Indiana Relays. Akers said he is just looking for good performances from his team.

He said he liked the way his team practiced this week, which included some individual performances.

“I think the whole team has just been working really well,” he said. “We’ve had some really good workouts, middle distance crew, long distance crew, sprinters and short sprinters all had good workouts yesterday.”

The majority of the teams will be competing on Saturday, but Eastern will still be competing on Friday night.

“We’ve got a number of people competing on Friday night then a bigger group competing on Saturday,” He said. “Hopefully they’ll continue to stay focused and get their rest for the rest of the week and be ready to go.”

Akers is resting some of the sprinters this week because of the racing on consecutive weekends and is also sitting some people out to recover from minor injuries.

“There will be a few people that won’t be competing this weekend due to some minor injuries,” he said. “We have a few illnesses going around right now so there will be few or some that just wont race because it’s not prudent for them right now especially in the distances for those kids to be racing every weekend.”

Sophomore Rachel Garippo, who set a new eighth best mark in school history for the 3000-meter run last week, is one of the players that is sitting out this weekend.

“Rachel Garippo is going to take the weekend off this weekend in preparation for a good race next weekend in the 5k,” Akers said. “A few people will be left at home but that is on a day-to-day basis.”

Akers said how he wants his players to focus more when it comes to competing.

“After talking to them about that, I really think they’ve done a great job of getting in that mind set this week and working on that mental aspect of competing,” He said. “Hopefully they can carry that over into the weekend.”

Akers said overall the teams are looking a little better at this point in the season than where they were at this point last year.

“I’m really pleased with that,” he said. “I’m excited for the possibilities if we continue to progress and stay focused that some really good things can happen.”

Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].