Irish Add Depth With Incoming Class

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Irish coaching staff has been busy this off-season, recruiting top-talent to join the team in the fall. With their incoming roster finalized, the Notre Dame cross country and track and field teams are excited to announce their newest additions to the team. In total, 27 fresh faces will lace up their shoes for the Irish in 2019-20, including 14 distance runners, five jumps specialists, four sprinters and four throwers. 

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The women’s distance group will welcome six new faces to the team in 2019-20 as Olivia Markezich, Emily Eberhart, Jess Schneider, Catherine Coffey, Jane Archibeck and Cassie Keys join the Irish in the fall. The group consists of two state champions in three events, a 2019 Footlocker finalist and a two-time Nike National finalist. The additions hail from all across the country, representing six states and covering both coasts, proving just how diverse the Notre Dame recruiting trail is.

Three new pole vaulters are set to compete for the Irish beginning in 2019-20, two women and one man. Olivia Fabry comes to Notre Dame from De Pere, Wisconsin, while her fellow women’s pole vaulter, Alexandra Chlumsky joins the team as a native of Fort Meyers, Florida. Matthew Quintal will join the men’s team, hailing from Ponte Vedra, Florida, he finished third at the 2019 FHSAA state meet in his senior year.

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In high jump, the Irish will add Charleston, Illinois native, Sarah Flight to the team. The Irish will also host Avian Rossum who specializes in the heptathlon, adding depth to that event after not having an Irish representative in the multi-events last season.

Following a strong year in which they hoisted their first Atlantic Coast Conference Championship trophy, the men’s distance team will add eight new members to its team for the 2019-20 season. A highly-ranked recruiting class, the newcomers to the team include Carter Cheeseman, Jake Renfree, Nicholas Mota, Connor Shields, Tom Seitzer, Will Zinkan, Alex Luz and Quinn Gallagher. The squad consists of individuals from six states and a Canadian province, including two home-grown Hoosiers. 

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A few accolades amongst the team include two New Balance Indoor champions, a Footlocker Cross Country Championships runner-up and two state champions. Cheesman won the indoor 5K at the New Balance championships while Renfree was the indoor mile champion at the same meet. Renfree also posted three state championships during his high school career, including in the 800m, 1,600m and cross country races. 

Four sprinters are set to join the mix next season, adding Isabelle Grassel to the women’s side and Theodore Krolak, Joseph Dobrydney and Rafael Coppola to the men’s team. Grassel will also compete in the field, having experience in both the long jump and triple jump as well. On the track, she boasts a 100m time of 12.63 seconds and a 200m best of 27.52 seconds. Toying between sprints and middle distance, Dobrydney adds depth to the men’s team, especially in the 200m, 400m and 800m races. He comes out of high school with a 22.45 second 200m time, holds a 48.89 second 400m time while clocking in his 800m best at 1:57.44. Coppola was a 400m dasher in the 2019 outdoor season at the Christain Brothers Academy, recording a season best time of 50.33 seconds as a senior.

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The incoming class is rounded out by four throwers in Blake Kusky, Michael Shoaf, Henry Boudreau and Ava Butterbaugh. Kusky will join older brother Logan in the fall, having previously competed in shot put, discus and weight throw in high school. As a senior at Austintown Fitch High School, Kusky added discus to his repertoire, recording a mark of 144’2″. Indoors, he owns a shot put PR just shy of 42′ and set a weight throw best of 63’6″. Outdoors, his shot put best comes in at 39’10.5″.

A native of Rocky River, Ohio, Shoaf adds experience to the field with practice in shot put, discus, hammer throw and weight throw. As a senior at Rocky River High School, he set personal best throws in both the shot put (63′) and weight throw (71’8″), while he owns career best marks of 148’7″ in the hammer throw and 182’1″ in discus, both set in 2018. 

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The final male thrower, Boudreau, spent his high school years competing in both shot put and discus. He owns a discus PR of 175’1″ which he set as a senior while holding a personal best shot put throw of 57’4.5″. He also set a career best throw during the 2019 indoor season of 54’4″ (shot put).

Butterbaugh competed shot put and discus in high school, owning personal best marks of 44’10” (shot put) and 132’2″ (discus). Setting both records her senior year, she beat her previous best discus mark by over 30 feet between her sophomore and senior year.  

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