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Track and Field

Notre Dame compete in South Carolina and Michigan

| Monday, February 13, 2017

Notre Dame’s men’s and women’s teams found success around the country over the weekend, as the Irish split to participate in three different competitions over the course of Friday and Saturday.

The majority of the team traveled to Clemson, South Carolina, to compete in the two-day Tiger Paw Invitational alongside plenty of ACC and SEC schools. Senior pole vaulter Nate Richartz put forth the best performance of the weekend for the Irish during Friday’s competition, breaking his own school record with a 5.50-meter mark — a feat he barely missed at the Meyo Invitational the previous weekend. Richartz’s personal record ties him for the seventh-best height in the country and is good for third-best in the ACC this season.

Staying in the field, sophomore high jumper Matthew Birzer finished second in the high jump with a 2.15-meter mark while junior Hunter Holten came in seventh at 2.05 meters. On the women’s side, senior Indi Jackson recorded a fourth-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 15.52 meters.

On Clemson’s banked track, sophomore Anna Rohrer won the 5,000-meter run with a time of 16:15.93, despite being well over her personal record of 15:32.03. In the sprints, junior Payton Miller finished 15th in the 400-meter dash with a time of 55.89, with junior Jordan Shead close behind at 56.20 — good for 18th place. Irish associate head coach Matt Sparks commented on Rohrer’s performance, saying the Mishawaka native used the Tiger Paw Invitational primarily as a preparatory event.

“For Anna, this meet wasn’t really on the radar at the beginning of the year, since she usually doesn’t have to travel this early in the year when she competes,” Sparks said. “However, she wanted to gain experience going on the road and competing before nationals, and she did a decent job of it. The time’s not indicative of her performance, so I think overall it was a good workout in preparation for the postseason.”

The Irish also sent two runners to Allendale, Michigan, and the Grand Valley State Big Meet, as sophomore Anthony Williams and junior Brent Kennedy both competed in the 5,000. Williams was 11th overall with a time of 14:35.22, and Kennedy finished right behind him in 12th at 14:35.59, improving his time by more than 10 seconds from the Meyo Invitational.

The third destination for Notre Dame track athletes this weekend was New York and the Millrose Games, as graduate student Molly Seidel aimed to compete in the 3,000-meter run and record a top-16 time in the country to put her in position to compete at the NCAA championship. However, Seidel slipped on the ice Saturday and hurt her ankle and was not able to compete. Sparks said the team did not want to risk Seidel’s health and that the graduate student will wait for another opportunity to compete in the event.

“With Molly, we decided to err on the side of caution and not run her,” Sparks said. “Hopefully [her injury] will only last a couple days, so that she can get ready for the postseason in a couple of weeks.”

The Irish return to action this weekend when they host the Alex Wilson Invitational at Loftus Sports Center on Saturday. Notre Dame will also host the ACC indoor championships from Feb. 23-25 at Loftus Sports Center.

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About Joe Everett

Joe is a senior PLS major and hails from the thriving metropolis of South Bend, IN. In addition to formerly serving as Sports Editor at The Observer, Joe is a RA in Stanford Hall and a past champion of the Observer's Fantasy Football league.

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