Jan. 30, 2018

By Matt Paras

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame Cross Country team had five athletes selected to the All-ACC Academic Cross Country team, the conference announced Tuesday afternoon.

Yared Nuguse, Kevin Pulliam and Bradley Wattleworth represented the men while Rachel DaDamio and Annie Heffernan were selected for the women following their performances last season on and off the course.

“These athletes are not only role models in the classroom, they are the leaders of our teams,” said associate head coach Matt Sparks. “They are great examples of how to be a Notre Dame student-athletes.”

Nuguse is majoring in Biochemestry and he impressed many during his first season for the Irish. The Louisville, Ky. native won the Crusaider Classic in his first collegiate appearance to begin the season. The following week, he was named ACC Freshman of the Week. At ACC’s, Nuguse led the way for the men finishing with a personal record time of 24:03.7.

Pulliam is a senior mechanical engineering major and turned in a consistent final season for the Irish. He was a top-five Irish finisher in all of his meets this season. Pulliam finished fifth overall at the National Catholic and helped the team to a second place finish. He led the way for the Irish at the Joe Piane Invitational and Pre-Nationals.

Wattleworth is a graduate student studing Tech Entreprenuership and he transferred from the University of Birmingham in England. He competed in all but one meet for the Irish. His best finish of the season was at the National Catholic where he finished eighth overall.

DaDamio is a junior majoring in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics. This is the third straight year she has been selected to the All-ACC Academic team. She set a personal record at the ACC Championships with a time of 20:38.8. DaDamio finished 18th and earned All-ACC honors.

Heffernan is a junior studying Neuroscience & Behavior and was one of the top runners for the Irish this season. The Cincinnati, Ohio native was the top Irish finisher in all five of her meets. She was the individual winner at the National Catholic and helped the Irish win the meet for the 11th straight season. Heffernan finished 13th at the ACC Championships to earn All-ACC honors.

Minimum academic requirements for selection to the All-ACC Academic Team are a 3.0 grade point average for the previous semester and a 3.0 cumulative average during one’s academic career. Athletic achievements during the most recent season are also considered in selecting the All-ACC Academic Team.

For more on the Irish Cross Country programs, follow @NDXCTF on Twitter and Instagram.


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.