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Track and Field

Women’s distance medley relay breaks school record at Penn Relays

| Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Irish split up last weekend at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia and the Gina Relays in Hillsdale, Michigan.

Notre Dame’s best performances came in the field events, as senior pole-vaulter Nathan Richartz continued his dominant spring season by winning the pole vault with a 5.30 meter vault. Additionally, sophomore Matthew Birzer came in second in the men’s high jump championship after jumping 2.16 meters.

Irish head coach Alan Turner said he continues to be impressed by Richartz.

“It was a big deal for Nate [Richartz] to win the pole vault,” Turner said. “His height wasn’t that high, but it was a pretty good field and he beat them. It’s his third straight victory. He is where he needs to be.”

On the track, the women’s medley relay of graduate student Danielle Aragon, junior Payton Miller, sophomore Kelly Hart and junior Jessica Harris ran a 10:58.22 to place third overall.

“They ran well and broke the school record, and we don’t run that event that often outdoors but I thought we had a shot,” Turner said on the relay.“We could have had a stronger 800 meter leg, but all then girls ran well.”

Additionally, freshman Troy Pride Jr., who also is a cornerback on the football team, made his season debut, running the 100 meters in 10.60 seconds, good enough for 10th overall.

“I believe he barely made it after having only practiced for a few days and not doing anything track related,” Turner said on Pride.“He has been practice for football for six weeks, but I definitely think we can drop his time.”

While the Irish were placing at the Penn Relays, junior Kaitlin Frei won the 10,000 meters in Michigan with a time of 36:04.72, setting a new person record.

“I thought she ran well,” Turner said. “[The distance coach] Matt Sparks said it was her first victory, in college or high school, and she is a good one we will take to conference meets and the ACC Championships to run the 10k. She really is coming along.”

With several individuals placing at both events, Turner said the previous meets aided in their preparation for the ACC outdoor championships.

“It was good preparation, especially those who went to the Penn Relays because there was stiff competition,” Turner said. “Lucky for us, the weather was nice. We had an individual in the hurdles,[Junior] Drake Stimson, who had his season’s best. He was also a finalist in the ACCs last year. [Freshman] Summer Thorpe got ninth in the women’s hurdles, and she got hit and bumped which messed her up, but she set her personal record in the prelims, so I think she will make the finals at the ACC meet. The competition will be tougher at the ACCs but I think we are definitely getting ready.”

This upcoming weekend Notre Dame will attend the Billy Hayes Invitational in Bloomington, Indiana before competing at the ACC outdoor championships in Atlanta the following weekend.

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