March 10, 2018
By Matt Paras
COLLEGE STATION, Texas ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” The Notre Dame track and field team looked to keep the momentum going Saturday night on the final day of the 2018 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. The Irish had one of their best distance runners, Jessica Harris, competing in the mile final and she did not disappoint.
Harris came into the weekend following her second-consecutive first place finish at the ACC Championships in the mile and had a strong start in College Station Friday night. She won the second of two heats yesterday with a time of 4:38.81. She finished ahead of New Hampshire’s Elinor Purrier, who entered the championships with the fastest mile time in the country.
In Saturday’s final, it was Purrier and Harris who were out in front for the majority of the race. The pair held the top two positions from the start into the final lap, with Harris just a stride behind Purrier. In the final lap, a number of runners pushed forward for their final kick. Harris finished eighth overall, improving on her time from yesterday with a 4:37.22.
This was Harris’ first individual first team All-American honor at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The past three years, she has earned first team honors as part of the distance medley relay. Last year, Harris finished ninth in the mile, just outside of qualifying for the final.
Huddle, Seidel enjoy success at USATF 15 km Championships
Harris was not the only Irish athlete to compete in a championship on Saturday. Former Irish standouts Molly Huddle and Molly Seidel both ran in the USATF 15 km Championships down in Jacksonville, Fla.
The pair fared well in the USATF Running Circuit event with Huddle coming in first with a time of 47:50 and Seidel finished third with a time of 49:20. This was Huddle’s final tune-up race before the next month’s Boston Marathon. She raced out to the front from the start and held the lead the entire way after the first 5 km split.
Huddle and Seidel both earned All-American honors during their indoor seasons with the Irish. Huddle was a two-time first team honoree in the 3,000m and 5,000m in 2004. Seidel was a three-time first team honoree and won the 3,000m and 5,000m events in 2016.
The Notre Dame track and field team will open the outdoor season next weekend when they travel to Miami for the Hurricane Invitational. The two-day meet begins Friday, March 16 at 1 pm ET.
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.