Track and Field
Irish open outdoor season with multiple top-three finishes
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, March 21, 2017
The Irish traveled to Atlanta over spring break to open their outdoor season at the Yellow Jacket Invitational, which was hosted by Georgia Tech, on Friday after sending six athletes to the NCAA indoor championships, which also took place over the break.
Senior pole vaulter Nathan Richartz finished in a tie for sixth place after clearing 5.45 meters. Sophomore Anna Rohrer took home the bronze in the 5,000-meter race, recording a personal best time of 15:29.83 and earning All-American honors. Junior Jessica Harris finished 13th overall in the mile, and the women’s distance medley relay team — made of up junior Payton Miller, sophomore Kelly Hart, senior Jamie Marvil and Harris — finished eighth and was also awarded All-American honors.
In their first meet since the conclusion of the NCAA indoor championships, the Irish recorded seven top-three finishes at the Yellow Jacket Invitational, including a first-place finish by junior Jordan Shead in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. Shead defeated 14 other athletes and fell just shy of her personal best, completing the event with a time of 59.66. Shead was named a first-team All-American in the event in 2016.
Shead compounded upon her victorious effort by placing third in the women’s 4×400-meter relay, competing with Miller and freshmen Summer Thorpe and Grace Cronin. The team finished with a time of 3:45.54, trailing only Georgia and Pittsburgh.
Thorpe also participated in the 4×100-meter relay along with sophomore Kyla Lewis and freshmen Michaela Butler and Naya Sharp. The team sprinted to a first-place finish with a time of 46.39.
Other top-three performances came from seniors Indi Jackson, Taylor Craft and Anthony Shivers, as well as sophomore Matthew Birzer. Jackson finished third in the shot put with a throw of 15.05 meters. Craft earned a second-place finish in the triple jump with a distance of 12.13 meters. Shivers recorded a third-place finish in the hammer throw with a distance of 60.98 meters, and Birzer finished third in the high jump by clearing a height of 2.05 meters.
The Irish will look to build upon their strong performances as they continue their outdoor season. Next up, the team will travel to North Carolina State for the Raleigh Relays, which will begin Friday at noon.