Track and Field
Irish break records over weekend at Virginia Challenge, Michael Johnson Invitational
Meagan Bens | Tuesday, April 25, 2017
The Irish set multiple school and personal records at the Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Friday and Saturday and the Michael Johnson Invitational in Waco, Texas, on Saturday. The team split up this past weekend and sent distance runners to Virginia, while most of the jumpers and sprinters went to Baylor to compete.
On Friday, junior Jessica Harris broke her own school record in Virginia with a third place finish of 2:03.23 in the 800-meter run. Graduate student Danielle Aragon ran her fastest 800-meter run since the 2013 Stanford Invitational with an eleventh-place time of 2:07.27, and sophomore Kelly Hart set an outdoor personal record with a time of 2:07.30. Sophomore Annie Heffernan wrapped up the day by finishing in second in her first 10,000-meter run, recording a time of 34:11.17, which is the 44th-fastest mark in the country this season.
On Saturday, Notre Dame’s distance runners continued to place at the Virginia Challenge. For the women, Aragon finished first in the women’s 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:15.65, while Harris finished close by in third with a new personal best of 4:16.56. Sophomore Anna Rohrer placed second in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:43.07. On the men’s side, junior Kevin Pulliam improved his personal record for the 10,000-meter run, finishing fifth with a time of 29:50.17.
At the Michael Johnson Invitational, reigning ACC’s Men’s Field Performer of the Week senior Nathan Richartz placed first in the pole vault with a jump of 5.41 meters.
“I was more than happy to finish in first,” Richartz said. “Since the weather conditions weren’t great, I think my finish shows mental fortitude to vault in tricky conditions. A lot of people talk up their shortcoming with conditions, use them as excuses, but I enjoyed the challenge and, overall, I am happy with the results. I also was not expecting the ACC Men’s Field Performer of the Week, either, and it was a pleasant surprise to get it.”
Along with Richartz’s notable performance, senior Anthony Shivers had a 66.21-meter throw in the hammer throw to break his own school record by 0.61 meters. On the track, freshmen Summer Thorpe and Grace Cronin finished the 100-meter hurdles in sixth and seventh places, respectively, with personal-record times of 13.71 and 13.8 seconds, respectively. Freshman Michaela Butler tied her personal record with a time of 12.12 in the 100-meter dash, finishing in fifth, and sophomore Zachary Zajdel placed fifth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.22, close to his personal-best mark. Despite the weather, Richartz said he was proud of his team’s performance, particularly his fellow senior’s school record.
“It was tough — it was a kind of a down meet because the weather was not ideal,” Richartz said. “Anthony Shivers won in the hammer, though, and had an awesome day. It wasn’t a great day for a lot of people, though, including our competition, due to the wind and cold. I personally had a terrible warm up and had a rough start before the meet.”
As for the next meet, the Irish have a quick turn around and will be competing at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia from Thursday to Saturday and the Gina Relays in Hillsdale, Michigan, from Friday to Saturday. Richartz said he is excited for the challenge.
“My goal for the next meet is to have another win and, ideally, have a jump over 5.50 meters or over 18 feet,” Richartz said. “Yesterday, I lifted light weights. Today, I am doing some sprints at practice, and tomorrow, I will jump before I have to get on the plane Wednesday morning.”