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Volume 51, Issue 61 | friday, december 2, 2016 |

Jenkins considers Trump, graduation University President remains undecided on 2017 Commencement speaker, discusses impact of election By KATIE GALIOTO News Editor

Three weeks ago, students crowded around TV screens, watching as votes trickled in from around the country. Some cheered. Some cried. Across campus, emotions ran high as one of the most divisive election seasons in American history drew to a close. Now, the country is starting to look forward and examine the implications of Donald Trump’s victory — and for University President Fr. John Jenkins, that means pondering what the election means for Notre Dame. In an interview with The Observer on Thursday, Jenkins said he is considering inviting the President-elect to speak at this year’s Commencement ceremony.

“I do think the elected leader of the nation should be listened to. And it would be good to have that person on the campus — whoever they are, whatever their views,” he said. “At the same time, the 2009 Commencement was a bit of a political circus, and I think I’m conscious that that day is for graduates and their parents — and I don’t want to make the focus something else.” Traditionally, the University has invited presidents to speak at graduation during their first year in White House. In 2009, President Barack Obama was the sixth president to deliver the Commencement address, following in the steps of Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Jenkins said he plans to select a see JENKINS PAGE 4


Students demand fossil fuel divestment By MEGAN VALLEY Associate News Editor

A month after their last demonstration, more than 20 students involved with Fossil Free ND presented a petition with 1,183 signatures to University President Fr. John Jenkins’ office Thursday afternoon. “We’re asking that Notre Dame live up to the mandates of our Catholic faith and fully divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies and set a target of 100 percent renewable energy on campus by

2050, which we think are reasonable goals and goals that other universities have done. We’re asking Notre Dame to step up to the plate as well,” fifth-year student Bryan Ricketts said. Jenkins was not in his office, but the petition was delivered to his chief of staff, Ann Firth Currently, 4 percent of the University’s endowment funds are invested in fossil fuel companies. Jenkins has said there are no plans to change that number in the near future. On Sept. 20, Jenkins announced

Speakers address Catholicism, LGBT inclusion By LUCAS MASIN-MOYER News Writer

When in 2013, Pope Francis, referring to gay and lesbian persons, said “who am I to judge?” he sparked a conversation on the Catholic Church’s stance on LGBT issues that has continued


over the past few years. In a panel hosted by Campus Ministry, PrismND and the Gender Relations Center on Thursday evening in DeBartolo Hall, professor of theology at Providence College Dana Dillon and Dr. see PANEL PAGE 4


the University’s five-year sustainability plan, which included eliminating coal usage on campus by 2020 and providing at least 25 percent of the University’s energy from renewable resources by 2050. “A few weeks ago, 47 developing countries committed to going 100 percent renewable,” senior Sophia Chau said. “I feel like if they’re able to do that, we — as the world’s leading Catholic university — should be able to set a more ambitious goal than just 25 percent renewable by 2050. “I hope this will bring attention

to the disappointment regarding Notre Dame’s sustainability goals on campus, and I hope that the administration will be more willing to engage in meaningful and fruitful dialogue with students and faculty.” Before the petition was delivered, the students gathered in front of the steps of Main Building for a brief prayer service. Senior Luke Hamel said the prayer was written in seven sections, one for each Catholic social teaching. “Each section starts off with a description of that Catholic social teaching and then a personal

story of someone around the world who’s been affected personally by climate change,” he said. “Climate change is affecting real people; it’s affecting them now, and we want to share that through prayer and make sure the whole message that Catholics have to protect the most poor and vulnerable is clear.” During the service, students held up painted cardboard signs, reading statements like “planet over profit” and “the climate is a common good.” see FOSSIL FREE PAGE 3

Saint Mary’s to host annual Madrigal Dinner By STEPHANIE SNYDER News Writer

The Saint Mary’s Department of Music will present their 44th annual Madrigal Christmas Dinner Celebration in the North Lounge of Regina Hall this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. According to Nancy Menk, the chair of the music department and the person responsible for


putting the program together, the dinner — like other madrigal dinners — is a re-creation of a 16th century holiday feast. “The idea is that it takes place in a manor and the lord of the manor hosts guests from the community,” she said. “The dinner includes entertainment, instruments, dancers and there is sort of a little play going on during the dinner.”

ND WOmen’s bball PAGE 12

The choir group who performs at the dinner, or the “Madrigals,” have been rehearsing for the dinner since October, sophomore Riley Harber said. “I do women’s choir four hours a week and this is an additional two, which is challenging, but definitely worth it,” Harber, a member of the see MADRIGAL PAGE 4




The observer | Friday, december 2, 2016 |

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MICHAEL YU | The Observer

Christmas lights surround the statue of Fr. Sorin inside Sorin College. The dorm’s hall staff decorated the dorm with lights, ribons and an inflatable snowman. Many of the University’s 29 residence halls celebrate Christmas with decorations or signature events.

Today’s Staff News


Megan Valley Martha Reilly

Ben Padanilam Tobias Hoonhunt Kyle Barry Megan Bens

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The next Five days:

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Boardroom Insights Lecture Series: Paul Idzik Jordan Auditorium 10:40 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. CEO of E*Trade

Fall 2016 Freebie Classes: Vinyasa Yoga Rockne Memorial Gymnasium 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Mass at the Basilica Basilica of the Sacred Heart 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. With music from the Notre Dame Folk Choir.

SMC Passport Photo Day Le Mans Hall 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Free passport photos will be taken.

“Extremes of the Planets” Jordan Hall of Science 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Free but ticketed space demonstration.

Performance: Bach’s Lunch DeBartolo Performing Arts Center 12:10 p.m. - 2 p.m. Free but ticketed.

Concert: Violinists Tricia and Taylor DeBartolo Performing Arts Center 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Open to the public.

ND Volleyball vs. Virginia Joyce Center 1 p.m. The Irish take on the Cavaliers.

ND Women’s Basketball WNIT Quaterfinals Purcell Pavillion 7 p.m. Open to the public.

Men’s Basketball vs. Purdue Purcell Pavillion 9 p.m. The Irish take on the Boilermakers.

News | friday, december 2, 2016 | The Observer


Badin Hall hosts Conscious Christmas sale By COURTNEY BECKER News Writer

As the Christmas season arrives on campus, so comes Conscious Christmas — a Badin Hall signature event and annual fair trade sale to support Badin Hall’s charity, the HOPE Initiative. The eighth annual Conscious Christmas sale will take place Friday from noon to 6 p.m. in Badin Hall., and will feature handcrafted items from Nepalese

artisans and Notre Dame art and design students. Sophomore Kathleen Ryan, the head commissioner for Badin’s HOPE commission, said she appreciates the opportunity to get the rest of the Notre Dame community involved with the HOPE Initiative, a volunteer organization devoted to improving the education of the poorest children in rural Nepal. “I was really drawn to the idea of using our dorm community for

the benefit of people in the greater international community,” Ryan said in an email. “I think the HOPE Initiative is an amazing organization, and it’s really special to work closely with Ann-Marie Conrado, who is the founder of HOPE, as well as our hall fellow.” Conrado, an assistant professor of industrial design, said she loves to see Badin Hall have such a large hand in supporting her and her husband’s charity.

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“It’s a small organization,” she said. “So that also allows Badin to play a large role in the work that it does and to be really connected to it at the grassroots level. … I’m proud to say that Badin is the number one donor, by far.” In addition to the residents of Badin Hall who are in charge of organizing, publicizing and working at Conscious Christmas, Conrado said some Notre Dame art students also participate by designing items to sell at the event. “I actually bring art and design students to Nepal every summer for ten weeks,” she said. “They actually design handicrafts. … A portion of our products that are on sale are actually designed by Notre Dame students.” One student who will have several items of work featured in the Conscious Christmas sale is painting graduate student Laura Lemna, who traveled to Nepal with Conrado last summer to work as an intern with artists at the Association for Craft Producers. “It’s different from a lot of the other work that I make,” Lemna said. “I’m a painter, so I’m used to making singular objects. So making designs that are mass-produced is pretty exciting and something that I’ve never done before. Knowing and caring about the people at that company, it’s really cool to know that they enjoy what we made together and that it’s finding some success for them.” Ryan said these original designs by students and artists in Nepal only add to the success of the event. “What’s special about Conscious Christmas is these items aren’t your typical Christmas gifts,” she said. “So the excitement of finding

that perfect present for someone is even more unique.” Not only does Conscious Christmas serve as an opportunity for community members to shop for Christmas gifts, but it also exposes students to fair trade, Conrado said. “What Badin does is opens up fair trade, consciously and ethically sourced products to the Notre Dame community and gives them a venue to shop in a way that does double the duty,” she said. “Because one, it’s purchased fair trade or from small cooperatives … but then all proceeds go back to charitable efforts there. So it’s like you’re doing double the difference. There’s not a profit motive there.” Ryan said she and the other commissioners for the event are hoping to break the record of more than $11,000 raised at last year’s event. “We’ve topped the amount made the previous year every [year] since Conscious Christmas started, and I wouldn’t want to stop that trend now,” she said. More important than the dollar amount to Conrado, however, is witnessing the passion Badin Hall residents have for the event. “I am thrilled with how the women of Badin take this on and come to learn so much about fair trade, come to learn about ethical sourcing and come to understand that they can make an impact,” she said. “Every generation that’s involved with this — from the ones who will sign up just on the day to man it … to the ones who just keep continually running credit cards all day long — they’re giving of themselves for a greater cause.”

Fossil Free

since Fossil Free ND’s last rally Oct. 27, Ricketts said. He said the administration’s response to the earlier rally was promising. “We were able — the week after — to sit down with [University executive vice president] John Affleck-Graves and talked through some of the concerns that students have expressed and tried to find some common ground on the technical issues we were facing,” he said. Meetings for Fossil Free ND are held Mondays at 9 p.m. in the basement of Geddes Hall and are open to the public. The last session for the semester, however, will start at 8 p.m. this Monday, Ricketts said. While the student-led organization will be planning, Ricketts said the long term goals of progress in sustainability and student awareness never change. “We, as students, know the world we want to grow up in and want to create — and it’s one that’s a just place and a sustainable place,” he said. “I think we feel those are more under threat than they have been before, but that’s not going to stop us from trying to have an impact where we can — in the place we call home.”

Continued from page 1

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The observer | friday, december 2, 2016 |

Madrigal Continued from page 1

Madrigals, said. “It’s fun to be immersed in the middle ages atmosphere.” This year’s dinner will mark Menk’s 33rd year of involvement with the dinner at Saint Mary’s. Over the years, she said she has seen the performance change for the better. “The night also used to include an opera during the dinner.

Panel Continued from page 1

Patrick Beeman, an Air Force obstetrician-gynecologist, discussed the LGBT community in relation to the Church and Catholic teaching. After a brief discussion of the meaning of mercy by both panelists, Beeman talked about how his initial “knee-jerk reactions” against gay marriage and other LGBT issues changed when he went through a divorce, another

“Apparently, before I came they would do a little opera during the dinner — back then it was an extended evening,” she said. “Over the years we’ve added dancers, changed the scenery and have improved it.” Laurie Lowry, a senior lecturer for dance at Saint Mary’s, has been the choreographer of the dinner for the past five years. She said dance brings another element to the dinner. “I think it’s really fun to

look at another element in the arts,” she said. “The audience can sit back and enjoy the music and the patterns. Lowry said the experience is not only for the actors, but for the audience members as well. “I think that our society right now is so far away from history that regenerating the reality of the tradition of that period gives a sense of what it was like to live back then,” Lowry said. “And it’s just a fun Christmas tradition — it’s

different rather than going to a movie or the mall.” The menu includes traditional Renaissance foods such as Cornish game hen, roast beef au jus, roasted vegetables and “wassail,” a traditional hot apple cider. Harber said the dinner helps her get into the holiday spirit, and she hopes it does the same for others. “W hen I was a kid my dad would always take me to Renaissance fairs, and in high school I always thought

it was cool but I never got to participate, so when I got the opportunity I thought I would take advantage of it,” she said. “The Christmas spirit is alive even though it’s not really close to Christmas. I hope people go and have a good time, eat some food, get some laughs and I hope they get the same magical Christmas energ y out of it that I do.”

act formally condemned by the Catholic Church. “I ran in circles that were uberCatholic and I thought, ‘What am I going to do?’” Beeman said. “Then I realized that it doesn’t matter; I’m still called to be a Catholic.” Beeman said he was able to apply this same logic to those in the LGBT community, who he said could still seek Christ despite the Church’s official opposition to their actions. He said he moved more toward becoming an ally of LGBT people as a result of this

experience. Dillon said supporting LGBT individuals falls within the greater Catholic social teachings on the common good and preferential treatment for the poor, which she said applied not just to those poor in wealth, but also marginalized groups. “The Catholic common good is the good of all and the good of each, where the two serve one another, rather than being in competition,” she said. “I think it is certainly true with the LGBTQ

community, a historically marginalized group. Where we stand exactly in our Catholicism and our Catholic identity, we need to stand with those marginalized and vulnerable.” The panelists also discussed what Catholics can do better to aid LGBT individuals. Dillon said there must be a constant fight against derogatory speech and actions. “Every single one of us [should work] to create that environment resisting hate and oppression,”

she said. “It is a different discussion ... arguing about principles and about people and how we talk to them.” Dillon concluded with a plea for acceptance by all Catholics. “I want to suggest that however you identify — gay, Catholic, both, neither — try to find ways to actively give people permission to be your friend and ally without agreeing on everything,” she said.

Contact Stephanie Snyder at

Contact Lucas Masin-Moyer at Paid Advertisement

Jenkins Continued from page 1

Commencement speaker sometime during the spring semester. Right now, he’s still weighing the different factors involved. “My concern a little bit is that, should the new president come, it may be even more of a circus,” he said. This election spurred levels political acrimony higher than Jenkins said he remembers in the past. “I think it’s fair to say the election reveals deep divides in this nation — divides on political views, on economic prospects, educational differences, differences in opportunities,” he said. “And they run deep in the country.” During this time, Jenkins said Notre Dame has a role as an educational institution to be a place of discussion that brings people together. “I think being president of Notre Dame gives me a certain soapbox. You can say things that people will pay attention to what you say because of that. I take that seriously,” he said. “I try to use that soapbox that I have as well as I can to serve those ideas and not kind of advance a personal agenda.” In a prayer service hosted six days after the election, Jenkins told undocumented students that the University would continue to support them, even if Trump were to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, as he promised to do during his campaign. The DACA Program was the result of an executive order issued by Obama and allows some undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to gain work authorization and,

in many cases, financial aid to attend universities. Last week, Jenkins signed a public statement in support of DACA, joining more than 400 other college and university presidents. “These people were brought here as minors and are highly talented people, are valuable to this country,” Jenkins said. “So, if an administration would make changes, I would think trying to deport these talented young people would be among the most ill-advised moves they could make.” “If there should be an effort to do that, we would do everything we can to fight that, whatever way we can,” he added. “Not only for these young people who are Notre Dame students, but for the good of the nation.” In the past, the University has refused to give information on the immigration status of its students when asked by the state of Indiana. As a general policy, Notre Dame is guarded about giving any information about individual students to government agencies or other organizations, Jenkins said. But it’s difficult to plan for the future at this point in time, he added, because no one can do more than speculate what policies the Trump administration will institute after the inauguration ceremony in January. “I think it’s important at this stage to wait and to see and to listen,” he said. Jenkins said, in the past, elections and other current events have created divisions within the campus political environment. But he called the demonstrations in the days following Trump’s victory the largest he’s seen during his time as University president. “I think with the degree of animosity, the meanness of the rhetoric in the election, there was a lack of real discussion

between the two opposing parties,” he said. “It does seem we have hit a peak or a sort of high point in terms of that animosity, that vitriol in public discussion.” Jenkins said i’s the first time since the election of Abraham Lincoln that riots broke out in cities across the U.S. in reaction to a presidential election; now, America faces the challenge of

finding ways to foster constructive conversations. “The fact is we’re a democracy,” he said. “We can only move forward by addressing those divisions and trying to find a path forward that would address the concerns and needs of many people of this nation.” Contact Katie Galioto at Paid Advertisement

The observer | friday, december 2, 2016 |


JOSEPH HAN | The Observer


The observer | friday, december 2, 2016 |

Inside Column

Throwing down the gauntlet Rachel O’Grady Associate News Editor

2016 has personally been a rough year for sports for me. I’ve tried for the past several months to prove to The Observer Sports department that I am, in fact, sporty — almost to no avail. I entered a Fantasy Football league with them at the beginning of the year, only to draft Blake Bortles in the third round despite having drafted Russell Wilson in the first. I wrote a Sports Authority about how boxing out is the key to winning, which, as it turns out, is not a hot take. The final blow, though, came the other day at the hands of Sports Editor Marek Mazurek. As most of The Observer staff knows by this point in time, I’ll be missing the Sports department’s Turkey Bowl this Friday afternoon. Despite the fact that I write and work for the News department, I was able to secure a much-coveted invitation to play in the Sports department’s annual two-hand-touch football game, which felt like a major accomplishment until Marek decided to schedule the game for Friday afternoon, when he knew full well I would be going home for a family commitment. To say that I’m bitter might be the understatement of the century. I was looking forward to pretending like I was sporty for an hour, but Marek had to go and shatter my dreams. However, unlike the Cleveland Browns, I do hope to actually secure one victory this year, and so today, on behalf of News Editor Katie Galioto and the rest of the News staff, I am issuing a formal challenge to the Sports department: News vs. Sports basketball game, next Friday, 1 p.m. While we know we beat up on your department in most categories — for one, Katie can actually spell — we understand sports may not be one of our strong suits. We fell to your team in a pretty embarrassing fashion last year due to a number of extenuating circumstances, but we refuse to let that happen this year. As I write this, Marek is admitting that, had I been a bit more serious about the game last year, I actually could have been good. That’s a challenge I take very seriously. Our team has heart, lest Marek forget that news writer Courtney Becker literally sat on him last year in order to win a jump ball they had both dove for. While heart may have only earned us four points last year, I’m confident that we’ll come back swinging this year. As Kurt Russell sort of, but not really, says in the movie “Miracle,” from great moments are born great opportunity, and that’s what we have here this year with the News-Sports basketball game. That’s what we’ve earned here this year. One game. If we played the Sports department 10 times, they would very likely win nine. But not this game. Not this year. This year, we dribble with them, I think. This year, we stay with them. And we score more than four points, because we can. This year, we are the greatest Observer department in the world. We were born to be adequately sporty. Every one of us. And we were meant to be part of this department. This is our time. Their time is done. It’s over. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great basketball team the sports department has. This is our time. Now go out there and take it. Contact Rachel O’Grady at The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.


A note on human evolution: how culture shapes us Humans are culturally crafted creatures. Our 6 million years of unique evolutionary history has left us like soft balls of clay. We come into the world skilless but eager and equipped to learn. Where other species have genes that teach them what to do and govern their possible actions, we arrive with much more freedom, trusting in culture instead to teach us the things we need to get through life. It is because of the role that culture has played in shaping our lives that we are so incredibly unique within the animal kingdom. While we are not the only species that demonstrates having culture, no other ‘cultural’ species comes close to the quality or quantity of culture that we possess. As I said above, this has led to some curious evolutionary modifications of our bodies and minds over the course of a few million years. On the physical side, consider what has happened to our teeth. Once we invented cultural toolkits for cooking and externally processing food, we began passing them down to successive generations of offspring, and having strong and functional teeth eventually became unnecessary for survival. As a result, many of us have naturally terrible teeth, and orthodontists can make a living fixing them. On the mental side, consider any of the many accounts of lost European explorers. These adventurers, finding themselves stranded in a new environment, almost always starved to death. This is because the cultural toolkits they learned to navigate life in a European civilization, or onboard a fully stocked caravel, were useless in an Amazonian jungle or an Arctic tundra. For proof of this, consider the few cases where they did manage to survive, by befriending a group of indigenous people and begging or bartering with them to obtain their locally adapted cultural toolkit (which often included both intangible skills and the special, tangible tools with which to employ them). The point is that our minds and bodies do not come pre-stocked with the set of programs and tools for survival that most species have. Instead they begin blank, but ready to learn what has worked for our ancestors. Through the channels of religion, family, school and any other non-genetic means of acquiring information, the information we need to survive in our immediate environment is transmitted to us. This is why people around the world have different forms of the above channels. They live in different environments and have thus evolved different cultural assemblages to navigate them. The picture we have painted above should make it clear that we are utterly and completely dependent on our culture for survival, but the belief that we

have stopped, or even worse finished evolving, is far from true. Culture just makes it seem like this, because in some ways it partially shelters us from the harsh clutches of natural selection (think of cultural adaptations such as clothing, that enable us to survive where thermally speaking we should not be able to). Although we attempt to hide behind this shield, we continue to evolve, and so do our environment-specific toolkits. Understandings this essential fact of our evolutionary history is the first step to imagining how a creature as strange as us has managed to become so successful. Similarly, the reason we have such a difficult time believing that we play by the same rules as the rest of life on Earth, is because in a way, we don’t. Successive generations of our ancestors found a way around the solely genetic evolutionary highway traveled by every other Earthly life form. By using culture to accumulate and improve the innovations of each generation, instead of having to start over from scratch, they managed to catalyze our evolution in a sense. Our ability to do this was brilliantly augmented by natural selection. Once we had enough culture in place to make being better at learning it advantageous, evolution was able to select humans that were better social learners and transmitters. Over many generations, selection for these and similar traits increased our ability to learn and invent new things. This, in turn, created even more cultural opportunities, and thus, our expanding cultural toolkits influenced our biological evolution, and vice versa. What this means is that we must begin to view culture as much more than simple differences in the ways we grow up. It is an adaptation essential for survival, much like a spider’s web or a bird’s nest, that has and continues to influence our evolution. It is not static; and there is no ‘right’ culture, just as there is not a single ‘right’ way for birds around the world to make their nests. Humans are not formed with a single cultural toolkit in mind. We are prepared to be molded by whatever culture we are born into, because it is expected that that cultural toolkit contains the skills necessary for survival in that ecosystem. In fact, the secret to our success lies in the plethora of unique cultural toolkits that we have developed to survive and thrive in almost every corner of the Earth, and each of these represents a rich chapter in the history of humankind. Matthew Williams junior Nov. 27

The observer | friday, december 2, 2016 |


Leaders bring home Rebecca Feng Redefining Beauty

There are two concepts that have confused me since I came to Notre Dame — what is home and how to reject mediocrity. Let me start with my confusion over the concept of home. I remembered the first time I went back to China after my freshman year fall semester. Walking into the arrival area, I saw my mom and dad standing close to each other, dad’s arm around mom’s shoulder, mom’s arm in the air waving at me. As I walked towards these two old folks, I marveled at how little they had changed and how much I had changed. Then I heard my mind crying in the voice of an excited yet confusing middle-age woman — “The daughters of China have returned as women.” The same person could return to the same place, yet no longer be at home there. Home occupied my heart as a vague, itchy, prolonged longing. Yet, the overwhelming feeling of displacement made me shiver that afternoon in the Beijing Capital Airport. I did not know how to come home. As for the rejection of mediocrity, the words of the Notre Dame 2014 valedictorian echoed in my mind: “To fear a life of mediocrity more than to fear failure.” Then I suddenly remembered saying to my mom when I was barely eight years old — “Mom, when you open the windows every morning, do you too smell the tragic mediocrity in the city?” The smell of “tragic mediocrity,” now in retrospect, is

simply the smell of home-cooked lunch. At the age of eight, I must have felt that in the dusty city where I called home, people were living their lives like everyone was. Nameless, traceless, unremembered. Many years later, I would open the same window in the same living room one morning and tell my mom, “ah, this is the smell of home.” Somehow the mediocrity perceived by a restless young soul had turned into home. I did not know how to reject mediocrity. Last Saturday, I met a man who was everything but mediocre, yet whose presence reminded me of nothing but home. South Dining Hall Hospitality Room. We just lost to Virginia Tech. I came back from the game with the smell of marshmallows in my coat, my hat, my shoes, my hair, everywhere. The honorable Ma Ying-jeou, the former president of the Republic of China, wore a burgundy sweater with a clean white shirt and a pair of long black trousers. “Treating history, compare a fact with a fact. Treating humans, place your heart close to theirs,” he said. “Kindness is the only real thing in the world.” Somehow I expected more of this great man than simply telling me to be kind, sincere and objective; somehow I thought as the political leader, he should do more than just listen; somehow I expected him to glow like a lighthouse on an island in the middle of the dark, vicious sea. I thought “being able to glow” was one of the key qualities of a leader and “not being able to glow” was a sure sign of walking on the path to mediocrity. Then I thought

to myself, wow that was quite scary — a human being glowing in the dark. The man in front of me was as honest as a child to himself and as sincere as a father to his daughter. And though it might sound weird, as we shook hands, I smelt that smell of tragic mediocrity, the smell of home-cooked lunches, the smell of youth. I felt as if I had come home. I was reassured, that yes, even he had that smell of tragic mediocrity and yes, even great leaders brought that home with them. Then I suddenly thought maybe that was the way to reject mediocrity — not to glow in the darkness but to bring home to people. Then my mind wandered off to imagine the young Ma Ying-jeou as a student. I saw him staying in the library at Harvard until late, with undaunted eyes that belong only to young people. Occasionally, he would lift his head from a pile of books to stretch. In my vision, he stared blankly at the night sky, wondering how to reject mediocrity and how to come home. Rebecca Feng is a senior at Notre Dame, double majoring in Accounting and English, but travelling and living abroad is her real education. She read Shakespeare and old English poems in Scotland last semester and interned at Forbes Magazine Asia business channel in New York this summer. Email her at for story ideas and comments. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.


Thank you, Notre Dame boxing Three years ago I received a nudge from my older brother, a coach for the Notre Dame boxing program on campus, to train for Baraka Bouts. Taking his advice, I nervously went to “the Pit” and left the informational meeting with hope and excitement for the season ahead. While I had never pictured boxing being a part of my time at Our Lady’s University, after the first practice in September of 2014, I was hooked. Fast forward through hundreds of workouts, a dozen spars, and three tournaments later, I found myself crying this past Wednesday as I stepped out of the ring for the last time. Now, I am not someone who often gets emotional or tears up when saying goodbye, but I cried that night as my time with ND Boxing came to an end. Looking back on my years with this club, I am filled with gratitude for the sport and all those who have journeyed with me. In turn, I feel the overwhelming need to give thanks. ND Boxing, thank you for pushing me past physical and mental barriers when I wanted to give up. Thank you for helping me work through breakups and tough classes. Thank you for challenging me

to recognize my own strength. Thank you for introducing me to some of the most incredible and empowering women on this campus. Thank you for letting me be a part of a team once again. And above all else, thank you for centering everything on the Holy Cross Missions. To my fellow boxers and our dedicated coaches, thank you for inspiring me daily to be a better version of myself in and out of the ring. Thank you for reminding me that I am strong, and that I am called to fight for a bigger purpose. To my family, friends and the residents of Badin Hall, thank you for supporting me in my training and fundraising for months on end. Thank you for believing in me and making me feel so loved. While many girls who participate in Baraka Bouts might share some or all of these feelings of gratitude, there is one aspect of my three years with this club that no one else can probably fathom — I was able to share them with my brother, Matt. So I must say, thank you ND Boxing, for giving me the greatest excuse to hang out with Matt every day. I never would have had the courage to step into the ring

if I did not receive the encouragement from him during my sophomore year, and I truly owe it all to him. So finally, thank you, Matt. Thank you for the moments we were able to share in the Pit as we danced around the ring, threw mitts and worked out with the medicine ball. Thank you for the pep talks, the numerous texts each day asking how I was feeling and the looks exchanged across the gym at practice. Thank you for never leaving practice without saying, “I love ya, Case!” and giving me a hug. But most of all, thank you for always being in my corner throughout life. To any student, male or female, who has considered joining the boxing program at Notre Dame, I say go for it. Learn a new sport, grow physically and mentally and fight for others who need your help. I promise you will leave the ring a different person from when you entered. I sure know I did.

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Casey Gelchion senior Nov. 21



The observer | friday, december 2, 2016 |

Crossword | Will Shortz

Horoscope | Eugenia Last Happy Birthday: Take advantage of every opportunity to get ahead. Avoid indulgences by making structured progress that will help bring greater opportunity, improve your financial situation and enhance your living situation by easing stress and adding comfort. Less is more this year on all levels. Look for quality, strive for simplicity and aim for peace of mind. Your numbers are 8, 15, 21, 27, 32, 41, 45. ARIES (March 21-April 19): Take a long, hard look at what’s going on around you before you step into an emotional confrontation. Consider every angle before you make a comment you cannot retract. Watch your dietary intake. You can enjoy without being indulgent. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Greater involvement in activities or events that align with your beliefs will expand your friendship with someone who shares your concerns. Romance is on the rise. Travel plans can be made and family gatherings or school reunions discussed. GEMINI (May 21-June 20):Money matters will surface. Don’t lend or borrow. Living within your means and working hard to establish a secure financial future should be your main concern. Start a dialogue with someone in a key position to help you strategize and reach your goals. CANCER (June 21-July 22): Delve into the intricacies that a partnership offers. Check out how you can work with the person who fits your plans personally or professionally. Take the time to visit a destination that can play an important role in the way your plans progress. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Listen to suggestions, but don’t believe everything you hear. Someone will have ulterior motives that may not benefit you. A professional change may not be physically doable, but it is worth considering for future prospects. Make domestic changes. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Becoming a participant doesn’t mean that you have to follow the leader. Gather information and study the ins and outs of whatever situation you face. Take the path that allows you to use your skills successfully. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Travel, meetings or educational pursuits will lead to new beginnings. Participate in events that will bring you in contact with interesting people. A partnership looks promising. Discuss your ideas and implement the contributions into your plans. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Dismiss what other people do. Concentrate on what you do best and how you can make the most of your attributes. Importing new ideas into an old plan will help you turn an important corner. Trust your instincts and follow through.. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Don’t let anyone toy with your emotions. Look at the big picture and make adjustments that will ensure you are the one to benefit. A problem with someone from your past is best dealt with before it grows. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Emotions will rise to the surface. Whether dealing with a friend, relative or someone you’ve never met before, stay calm and reserved regarding how much time and effort you are willing to contribute. Personal gains should take top priority. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): A sensible attitude will help you avoid someone who is trying to take advantage of you. Stick to the people and prospects that are a sure thing. You don’t need to take any big risks. Show discipline and be willing to work hard. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Your insight and ability to make a difference in others’ lives will help you deal with the outcome of any situation you face. Don’t go along with someone else’s approach if their actions do not resolve the issues you face. Birthday Baby: You are entertaining and quick to respond. You are progressive and thoughtful.

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SPORTs | friday, december 2, 2016 | The Observer

Sports Authority

SMC Basketball | anderson 82, Saint Mary’s 72; Benedictine 87, saint mary’s 58

Firing Strong was the right decision Ryan Klaus Sports Writer

The college football coaching carousel kicked into full gear over Thanksgiving weekend, led most notably by Texas’ decision to fire Charlie Strong and hire the crown jewel of this year’s cohort of potential coaching free agents, Tom Herman. Earlier this week, Ben Padanilam suggested in this space that Strong’s firing was unwarranted, citing an unjustly short leash and lack of administrative support as rationale for claiming his dismissal as premature. While Padanilam and others who have questioned the firing have certainly brought up a number of important issues regarding the fairness of Strong’s tenure, it is absurd to suggest that the dismissal was unwarranted and anything but the right decision for Texas from a purely football perspective. Strong’s Longhorns haven’t just struggled to win national championships, they’ve struggled to be over .500. In fact, in his admittedly short tenure, Texas never won a bowl game, only qualified once and never finished above .500. Yes, Strong’s character was admirable and seemingly infectious, but the unfortunate reality in college football is that character and likability are worthless unless winning accompanies them, particularly at the most valuable football program in the country. Need proof? Just look at college football’s second most valuable program. Brian Kelly, despite being just as conceited before the season as he was during and after, is only now confronting denunciation because his team went 4-8; if Notre Dame had went 11-2 this year, Kelly’s continued smearing of the school’s reputation that has defined his tenure would once again be a mere footnote to the same fans and boosters that didn’t criticize the extension he was given just this past January. Any type of sustained losing at a major program in the current state of college football, which — given the high turnover that defines the profession — can legitimately be characterized as three years, qualifies as prudent justification for a change. Sure, much of Strong’s tenure


involved working with rosters that weren’t wholly comprised of his recruits, but he has still almost exclusively worked with highly ranked classes that — no matter what system they are in — are talented enough to at the very least consistently reach the ever-expanding state of bowl eligibility. Of course, all of this fails to address the other substantial factor guiding the legitimacy of Strong’s firing: the guy who’s replacing him. Tom Herman has been the most talkedabout coach on the market for good reason: His ability to skyrocket Houston to national relevance instantly and his indispensability in Ohio State’s 2014 national championship run both seem to suggest that Herman could once again have immediate impact on a talented Texas roster. The fact that the Longhorns’ roster will return a gifted core that includes freshman quarterback Shane Buechele, sophomore linebacker Malik Jefferson and junior running back D’Onta Foreman should not support retaining Strong, but rather motivate a change that ameliorates the chance that their talents are not wasted on more underperforming teams. The lack of universal support that Strong had from his Texas boosters — some of which can reasonably be derived from the fact that he was the university’s first African-American head coach — and the inconsequential role that his character played in his ultimate firing are certainly indictments on college football’s corrupt nature. However, in a purely football context, the decision to dismiss Strong is one that any other major college football program would have and should have made. Barring an incredible botching in execution, Texas was all but assured to have the pitch and resources to unite Herman with his dream job. There is simply no rational reason to sacrifice such an opportunity for a coach who had the program mired in mediocrity. Contact Ryan Klaus at The views expressed in this Sports Authority are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Belles suffer road losses to Ravens, Eagles Observer Sports Staff

Saint Mary’s moved to 1-4 for the season, losing its last two out-of-conference games before MIAA play begins, despite two big scoring performances by junior forward Gabby Diamond. At Anderson, the Belles (1-4) took an early 6-0 lead, with all six points scored by Diamond, but a 16-3 run by the Ravens (3-3) put Saint Mary’s behind by a score of 16-9 and led to them trailing 21-18 at the end of the first quarter, despite Diamond’s 12 points in the period. In the second half, the Ravens began to pull away, stretching their lead out from 25-24 just over two minutes into the quarter to 48-35 by halftime. Diamond, however, continued to add to her scoring tally, reaching 20 points by halftime, along with five

rebounds. The Belles brought the game back to within four points thanks to a 3-pointer by senior guard Aspen Davis midway through the third quarter, but the Ravens built their lead back up to as much as 11 and led 61-53 with one quarter remaining. The Belles came close to making a comeback in the final quarter, as a 3-pointer from freshman guard Ally Steve made it a one-point game with just over two minutes remaining. However, the Ravens made it a five-point lead again with 1:20 remaining before making five of their six free throws down the stretch to win 82-72. Diamond finished the game with a then-career-high 26 points and 10 rebounds. Against Benedictine, the Belles played out a close first quarter, trailing 16-13 after

a late Eagles jumper, before finding themselves finding themselves 25 points behind at halftime after a onesided second quarter where Diamond attempted only one shot and scored no points. The third quarter was closer, but the Eagles (5-1) did manage to further increase their lead to 31 points. And though the Belles outscored the Eagles in the fourth quarter, it was not enough to capture the lead, and they lost 87-58. Diamond ended the game with 28 points — including 20 in the second half — and two blocks. Diamond is now averaging 19.8 points per game and is on pace to be the highest-scoring Belles player since Alison Kessler in 2007-08. The Belles begin MIAA play Saturday, when they face Albion. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Nhl | penguins 6, stars 2

Penguins score three goals in third to beat Stars Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby broke the game’s final tie and assisted on another score in the third period as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Dallas Stars 6-2 on Thursday night. Crosby scored his leagueleading 16th goal in the second period and assisted on Conor Sheary’s sixth as Pittsburgh scored three goals in the final 4 minutes. Eric Fehr’s third of the season was the 100th of his career and Patric Hornqvist’s seventh came on the power play. Nick Bonino and Ian Cole both scored their third for Pittsburgh, which avoided consecutive regulation losses for the first time this season. Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for Pittsburgh. Fleury, who won for the first time in five starts, has six wins in his last nine home games. Tyler Seguin scored his eighth and Devin Shore his second for the Stars, who continue to struggle on the road. Dallas has

lost its previous five away from home and has three wins in 14 road games this season. The Stars have lost three straight and seven of their last 10. Antti Niemi , playing in his 400th career game, stopped 34 shots. Crosby’s highlight-reel goal came in the final 30 seconds of the second period. Crosby, from behind the goal, initially tried to bank a shot off Niemi, but when that failed, he batted his own rebound off the Stars goaltender and into the net. In the third period, Crosby dished a backhander during a 2-on-1 to Sheary, who tapped it in to clinch the win. Crosby has 16 goals in 18 games after missing the first six because of a concussion. He has six goals and 12 points in his last eight games. Pittsburgh is 7-0 following a regulation loss and 16-0-1 after the previous 17 regulation defeats dating to last season. Pittsburgh snapped a fourgame skid against the Stars. The Penguins, who won nine

of their first 13 games, seek better consistency in December after winning just five of their previous 11. The defending Stanley Cup champions were an inconsistent group throughout the majority of November, alternating wins and losses most of the month. Stars’ defenseman Stephen Johns, a Pittsburgh native playing his first game against his hometown team, took the initial shot on Shore’s goal and was credited with the second assist. Seguin has 13 points in his last 14 games. Jason Spezza, who set up the goal, has 48 points in 41 career games against Pittsburgh. NOTES: Penguins F Scott Wilson replaced Jake Guentzel in the lineup. . Penguins F Chris Kunitz is skating, and getting closer to a return, but missed his sixth straight with a lower-body injury. . Penguins’ D Trevor Daley, who played 11 seasons in Dallas, faced his former team for the first time on Thursday.

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The observer | friday, december 2, 2016 |

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Irish sophomore guard Marina Mabrey looks up the floor during a game the WNIT championship against Washington on Nov. 20 at Purcell Pavilion. The Irish next face Valparaiso and then second-ranked UConn.

W Bball Continued from page 12

dealing with a quick turnaround after hosting Eastern Illinois on Saturday. The undefeated Irish will be the first ranked opponent of Valparaiso’s season so far — its three wins came against Chicago State, IU-Kokomo and Liberty, with three losses to Stetson, Illinois State and Evansville.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, has faced only one ranked opponent in 2016 thus far, defeating then-No. 17 — and now-No. 13 — Washington in the Preseason WNIT finals Nov. 20. All but one Irish victory has been by a margin of more than 10 points — the only exception was a 71-67 win over Green Bay on Nov. 17. That backdrop makes the game against Connecticut on Wednesday all the more crucial to Notre Dame’s hold on


Sophomore guard Arike Ogunbowale wrestles for the ball with a Washington player during the WNIT championship on Nov. 20.

the top spot in the Associated Press rankings, but first, the Irish will take on Valparaiso at 1 p.m. Sunday at Purcell Pavilion. Contact Renee Griffin at Paid Advertisement


M Bball Continued from page 12

as good as I needed to be to get them in some offensive movement where guys didn’t have to force a play.” Despite the 14-turnover evening, Notre Dame’s assist/turnover ratio remains one of the best in the country: The Irish only sit behind St. Mary’s (Calif.) nationally, averaging a 2.07 ratio so far. When the Aggies, who sit 1-5 ahead of a Friday home game against North Dakota State, come to town Sunday, it will mark a chance for junior forward Bonzie Colson to extend his doubledouble streak to five consecutive games. On Tuesday, Colson had his most impressive game of the streak, going for 24 points and 17 rebounds, and Brey referenced a January 2015 game at Georgia Tech — where Colson broke out, filling in for Zach Auguste — when praising the Irish captain. “He is the ultimate warrior, he is a great competitor,” Brey said. “There is an edge about him, he gives you confidence, he gives his teammates confidence, kind of like he did the first time I threw him in a game in Atlanta, Georgia. He had all those old guys believing we could win on the road — it carried them out.” At just 6-foot-5, yet largely operating as a post player, Colson is one of college basketball’s most unique players — and his own coach still isn’t sure the best way to use him. “I think we’re still learning how to put him in different spots,” | friday, december 2, 2016 | The Observer


Brey said. “We started the half getting him touches in the elbow and kind of clearing out — he had a bucket, he got to the foul line. It gave us a little bit of rhythm on the offensive end. Still trying to figure out where to put him, but as far as getting balls off the backboard, both offensively and defensive rebound, it’s clinictype stuff.” North Carolina A&T has struggled early this season — its only win was against Division III Greensboro — failing to break the 70-point mark in any game this year. Junior forward Davaris McGowens, who has recorded two double-doubles of his own this year, leads the Aggies, averaging 12.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. While he only played 11 minutes before fouling out, junior forward Martinas Geben made an impact Tuesday night, snagging nine rebounds in an energizing role for the Irish. Brey likened Geben’s emergence Tuesday to junior guard Matt Farrell’s at the Legends Classic the previous week. “Big night for him. You could say Brooklyn was the Matty Farrell coming out, [Tuesday] I think it was for Martin,” Brey said. “ … [It’s] something for him to grow on, and thrilled for him; he deserves it. Because he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do this year.” The Irish and Aggies will take to the Purcell Pavilion court Sunday at 5 p.m. ALLISON CULVER | The Observer

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Freshman guard T.J. Gibbs looks for an open man during Notre Dame’s win over Iowa in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 29 at Purcell Pavilion. The Irish take on North Carolina AT&T on Sunday afternoon.

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Track Continued from page 12

out when they ran. Annie was a little banged up at the end of the indoor season and didn’t run outdoor. But obviously, Molly and Anna are going to continue to be two of the top distance runners in the conference — they should be multiple-time AllAmericans in indoor. We’re fully loaded when it comes to women’s distance.” Another factor the Irish have going for them is that they host the ACC indoor championships this spring. Turner said home track advantage could be what pushes Notre Dame over the edge to take the top spot in the ACC. “If you ask a lot of oldschool track coaches, they’ll tell you if you’re hosting the conference championships … your home court, you can probably add an extra 10 points to your team’s score,” Turner said. “Our track is different, no other track in the country is 220-meters. Our athletes know how to run on it, they know exactly every meter of the track, they’ll have the home crowd cheering them on and they’ll get a good sleep in their own beds. … I don’t want to jinx myself, [but] our women’s team

should be in a good position to finally win our first ACC title.” For the men’s squad, Turner said there a few athletes to watch as the season progresses: senior pole vaulter Nathan Richartz, sophomore high-jumper Matthew Birzer and freshman sprinter and football athlete Troy Pride Jr. “Nate [Richartz] first-team All-American last year, ACC champion. He had benign tumor in his femur, and he went to get his hamstring looked at and they found this tumor in his femur,” Turner said. “He should retain his ACC-title and place much higher than he did nationally. … Another guy who did a great job his freshman year for us [is] Matt Berzer in the high jump. “We’re going to get a boost from the football team this year. Troy Pride, he’s from Greer, South Carolina, he won the 100-, 200- and 400-meters for the South Carolina championships. … He won’t compete until January. … Once we get him up to speed, he’s really going to contribute as well.” The Irish start their season Friday at the Blue & Gold Invitational at Loftus Sports Complex. Contact Marek Mazurek at


The observer | friday, december 2, 2016 |

Nd Women’s Basketball

ND looks ahead to Valparaiso, No. 2 UConn By RENEE GRIFFIN Sports Writer

No. 1 Notre Dame will return home from Iowa and strive to keep its record spotless against Valparaiso on Sunday at Purcell Pavilion, with a matchup against No. 2 Connecticut looming next Wednesday. The Irish (7-0) are coming off a 73-58 win over the Hawkeyes on Wednesday night. Despite the successful result, head coach Muffet McGraw expressed disappointment in the team’s performance but said she expects they will learn from it and bounce back against the Crusaders (3-3) this weekend. “We weren’t containing the ball, we weren’t guarding them, we weren’t boxing out, we weren’t making layups, we weren’t making good decisions … I think it’s a learning experience,” McGraw said after the game. “It’s a good teaching moment, especially for the freshmen.” Notre Dame will have to apply those lessons Sunday and

avoid a trap game before facing the powerhouse Huskies in a few days’ time. Freshman guard Jackie Young was one player McGraw specifically named as someone who could learn from the Iowa game, though the coach said the veterans should be the ones ready to play their best every day. Senior guard Lindsay Allen, junior forward Brianna Turner and sophomore guard Arike Ogunbowale all scored in the double digits against the Hawkeyes, with Turner recording her 1,000th career point early in the night. On Wednesday, those three were all named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List, and Turner and Allen were placed on the Wade Trophy Watch List on Thursday as well. Both awards are given to the best collegiate player in the women’s game — the former by the Atlanta Tipoff Club and the latter by the WBCA. The Crusaders will be see ND WBBALL PAGE 10


Sophomore guard Arike Ogunbowale dribbles up the court during the WNIT championship game against Washington on Nov. 20 at Purcell Pavilion. Ogunbowale was named tournament MVP.

men’s basketball

Track & Field

Irish host Aggies with Notre Dame set to unbeaten start on the line start season By ALEX CARSON


Assistant Managing Editor

Sports Editor

Sitting just outside the AP Top 25, Notre Dame will look to keep its unbeaten start going Sunday at Purcell Pavilion, when it welcomes North Carolina A&T at 5 p.m. For the first time since 2010, the Irish have won their opening seven games, with the latest a 9278 triumph over Iowa in the ACC/ Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night. In many ways, that wasn’t a traditional Notre Dame win — the Irish turned the ball over 14 times, while recording just 11 assists — but head coach Mike Brey knew the challenge presented by the Hawkeyes would hurt the assist/turnover ratio. “When you’re playing Big Ten teams and ACC teams and Big East Teams, you’re not gonna be ringing up 25 [assists] and six [turnovers] like we’ve done in some of the ‘guarantee games,’ I’m realistic about that,” Brey said Tuesday night. “I think I probably did a better job helping them with some entries in the second half. I don’t know if I was

Notre Dame begins its season Friday with the Blue & Gold Invitational, looking to capture its first ACC crown under head coach Alan Turner. One reason Turner believes the Irish have a shot at the conference title in February? Molly Seidel. Seidel graduated in May and was getting set to compete in the Olympic trials, but a back injury forced her to sit the Olympics out. The graduate student spent time on the west coast before deciding to return to Notre Dame for her final year of eligibility. Turner said Seidel’s return will give the program a huge boost, both on and off the track. “It wouldn’t matter if we were the best team in the country, or we were the worst team,” Turner said. “W hen you have somebody who was the indoor national athlete and a cross country champion. She basically won everything she entered



Irish junior forward Martinas Geben looks to pass the ball during Notre Dame’s 92-78 win over Iowa on Nov. 29 at Purcell Pavilion.

last year. She elevates our women’s program, but more so, it’s going to help [sophomore] Anna Rohrer, it’s going to help [sophomore] Annie Heffernan, all our distance runners, [senior] Lexi Pelletier. She’s back, she’s going to push them in training and it also helps with recruiting. I’m ecstatic she’s coming back.” Seidel’s return cements what is already a strong group of women’s distance runners. Earlier this month, the women’s cross country team placed 11th in the NCAA championships, and sophomore Anna Rohrer earned a third-place individual finish. “The key is with the top distance runners, they have three seasons: cross country, indoor and outdoor,” Turner said. “So we’re going to rest them here for December and probably all of January, so they probably won’t make their debut until the end of January or the first weekend in February. “Last year, they were lights see TRACK PAGE 11

Print Edition of The Observer for Friday, December 2, 2016  

Print Edition of The Observer of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's for Friday, December 2, 2016

Print Edition of The Observer for Friday, December 2, 2016  

Print Edition of The Observer of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's for Friday, December 2, 2016