June 21, 2018
By Matt Paras
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced on Thursday that University of Notre Dame senior Jessica Harris has been named to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-America Cross Country/Track & Field First Team. Harris is the fourth female Irish athlete to earn first team Academic All-America honors in school history and the first since Molly Seidel in 2016.
The All-America nod is the second of Harris’ accomplished four-year career. Following a successful junior season last year, Harris was named to the All-America Cross Country/Track & Field Third Team. Harris previously was named to the All-USTFCCCA Academic Track & Field team twice and the All-ACC Academic Indoor Track & Field team all four years of her career.
Harris is coming off her second straight appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Running in a loaded first heat in the 1500m semifinals, Harris crossed the finish line with a season-best time of 4:12.96 and just missed out on qualifying for the final by .88 seconds. She finished 14th overall to earn second team All-American honors. It is her sixth All-American honor in her career and second at the outdoor championships.
Harris qualified for nationals after a strong performance at the NCAA east preliminary round. She finished fifth in the quarterfinal of the 1500m to punch her ticket to Eugene.
Harris also earned All-American honors this past March at the NCAA Indoor Championships. After running the second fastest time in the prelims, Harris finished eighth (4:37.22) in the final to claim first team All-American honors.
Harris defended her title in the mile at the 2018 ACC Championships to claim her third conference championships this past February in Clemson. Harris also was the anchor leg in the women’s DMR at the conference meet that finished third to earn second team All-ACC honors.
Harris graduated this past May with a degree in theology. Academic All-America selections must have at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA.
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.