Track and Field
Track moves outdoors for spring season
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, March 23, 2016
The Irish open their outdoor season this weekend as the team travels south for the Yellow Jacket Invitational, hosted by Georgia Tech, and the Raleigh Relays, hosted by North Carolina State. Both the men and the women will be looking to build on a strong indoor season, where Notre Dame soared to new heights.
Leading the charge were the Irish women, who on March 11 and 12 competed in the NCAA indoor championships in Birmingham, Alabama. The team sent nine women to compete, headlined by senior captain Molly Seidel, where Notre Dame had considerable success. Notre Dame came in fifth in the overall standings, its highest finish in school history, and all nine who competed returned as first-team All-Americans.
Seidel stole the show in her final collegiate indoor meet, winning both the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter runs, bringing her total to four NCAA titles in the past nine months. She set the school record in the 5,000 with a time of 15:15.21, and then followed it up the next day with another dominant display in the 3,000, winning in 8:57.86. She now holds the program’s record for national titles won, and her 20 points went a long way to Notre Dame’s strong finish at the championships.
Freshman Anna Rohrer, graduate student Kaila Barber and senior Margaret Bamgbose also had high finishes for the team in the 5,000, 60-meter hurdles and the 400-meter dash, respectively. Rohrer came in fourth in her first indoor championship, helping Seidel set the pace early before finishing in 15:54.53. Barber came in sixth with a quick 8.07-second mark, while Bamgbose ran her fastest time all season at 52.12 seconds, good enough for fifth overall and another All-American performance, the ninth of her career.
For the men, sole participant junior pole vaulter Nathan Richartz brought home first-team All-American honors with his eighth-place finish.
Seidel was recently awarded the women’s Division I National Athlete of the Year Award by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, as well as the ACC Women’s Indoor Track Performer of the Year, as voted on by the coaches.
Seidel, the defending champion in the outdoor 10,000-meter run, will look to build on her accolade-filled year and lead her team to new heights when the spring season begins this weekend.