June 9, 2018
By Matt Paras
EUGENE, Ore. – Junior Rachel DaDamio took to the track at Hayward Field in the 5000m final Saturday night to close out the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships for the Irish.
In her first career race in Eugene, DaDamio put together a strong showing en route to setting a personal record. The Bloomfield Village, Mich. native was going up against some of the best runners in the country and shaved 12 seconds off her personal record with a time of 16:07.39 to earn honorable mention All-America honors.
Matthew Birzer faced rainy conditions for the high jump final Friday night but it did not faze the junior from Leawood, Kansas. Birzer cleared the opening height of 2.08m (6-9.75) on his first attempt. The rain picked up once the bar was raised and after three attempts, Birzer and eight other competitors were unable to clear 2.13m. Birzer finished 13th overall and earned second team All-American honors for the second straight outdoor season.
Anna Rohrer and Annie Heffernan represented the Irish Thursday night in the 10000m final and did not disappoint. As usual, Rohrer raced out to the front and stayed in the top-four for the first part of the race before she made her move. With five laps remaining, she jumped to the lead and held that position for two laps. Rohrer ended up sixth overall with first team All-American honors while beating the meet record that was set in 1988 with a time of 32:26.24.
Heffernan raced well in her first career appearance at Hayward Field, as she was in the middle pack of runners. The junior from Cincinnati, Ohio finished 17th overall with a 34:07.99 to earn honorable mention All-America.
On the first day of the championships, graduate student Nathan Richartz closed out his Irish career with an 11th-place finish in the pole vault. Richartz cleared 5.30m to earn second team All-American honors, his fifth All-American honor of his career.
Richartz was a perfect six-for-six during the regular season meets, winning every pole vault event he competed in. He won his third career ACC Championship in Coral Gables by setting the school, facility and championship record after clearing 5.70m (18-8.50).
Matt Paras, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since January 2018. In his role, he coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse and cross country/track & field programs. A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, Paras is a graduate of the University of Louisville where he completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sport Administration. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, he worked at Vanderbilt University as the sports information contact for the women’s soccer and lacrosse programs.