Wildcats Headed for South Bend
Sept. 29, 2009
The University of Arizona men’s and women’s track teams will put their early season success to the test Saturday as they compete against some of the most highly ranked competition in the country at the 54th Annual Notre Dame Invitational at the Notre Dame Golf Course in South Bend, Ind.
In one of the premier meets early in the season, the Notre Dame Invite will feature nine of the NCAA’s top 30 teams on the women’s side of things, including the No. 1-ranked Washington Huskies. The Arizona women enter the meet as the 32nd ranked squad in the nation and the fifth ranked squad in the NCAA West Region in the first edition of the USTFCCCA polls this season.
The men’s side of things will feature no slouches either with eight of the top 30 teams in the nation competing, headed by the No. 11 squad out of the University of Tulsa.
The men finished 14th in this event last season with the women providing the model of consistency with a 15th place finish. The UA men won the event most recently at the 2005 Invitational, placing four athletes in the top 25 that year.
The women begin the season with one of their highest rankings in recent memory, anchored by a supreme freshmen class comprised of 11 individuals with too many accolades to list. Coupled with the return of junior Maggie Callahan and sophomores Hanna Henson and Hannah Moen - all point scoring individuals a season ago - the team feels it has as good of a shot of qualifying for the NCAA Championships as ever before. Saturday will provide the team’s first true test with the level of competition in attendance.
The women won the Dave Murray Invitational hosted by the UA two weekends ago while the men took second, led by junior Mohamud Ige’s victory in the event.
The teams will look to carry that momentum forward into Saturday with the women’s 5000-meters beginning around 2:15 MST with the men’s 8000-meter race ensuing at 3 p.m.