Alumnae Begin U.S. Olympic Trials

Mary Saxer vaults for the Fighting Irish

EUGENE, ORE. -- Notre Dame All-American alumnae Molly Huddle ('06) and Mary Saxer ('09) are looking to punch their tickets to the London Olypmics with strong performances over the next two weeks at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic trials.

The former Irish All-America duo need to place in the top three in their respective events to earn places on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track and Field team.  Huddle is ranked fifth in 5,000-meter run, while Saxer is ranked fourth in the pole vault.

Huddle, a standout long-distance ace from Elmira, NY, earned a school-record nine All-America honors in her Irish career, tying former Irish distance legend Ryan Shay.  Huddle, who advanced to the NACAC Cross Country Championships in March, begins her quest on Monday at 9:05 p.m. (ET). The top 12-16 competitors from the qualifying round will advance to Thursday night’s 10:15 p.m. (ET) final.

Saxer, a New York native who trains in South Bend, had a record-setting career as an Irish field athlete.  She advanced to the IAAF World Indoor Championships in March and begins her trials with the qualifying round on Friday, June 22 at 8:30 p.m. (ET). The top 12 from the qualifying round will advance to the Sunday finals at 5:25 p.m. (ET).

Two more Notre Dame alumni and one current Irish student-athlete have provisionally qualified, meaning they have qualified for competition based on their past performances.  

Former 1,500m standout Dan Clark (’09) and former 400m hurdles performer Joanna Schulz (’10) and current Irish 1,500m All-American Rebecca Tracy (’13) have all provisionally qualified in their respective events.

Schulz has the best shot to earn a spot in Thursday’s qualifying round, as she is seeded 23rd entering the trials. Clark and Tracy will need the field to be expanded from 30 to 36 to earn a shot. Clark enters the trials seeded 31st, while Tracy is seeded 34th.

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 by Michael Rodio

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