Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Off For Weekend Relays

The year 2019 marks 125 years of of the illustrious Penn Relays. Dating back to April 21, 1895, the Penn Relays are the oldest and largest outdoor track and field meet in the country.

Penn Relays
DateApril 25-27
Time10 a.m. | 9 a.m. | 9 a.m.
Location: Franklin Field | Philadelphia, Pa.
Host: University of Pennsylvania

Jesse Owens Relays
DateApril 26-27
Time2 p.m. | 10:30 a.m.
LocationJesse Owens Memorial Stadium | Columbus, Ohio
Host: Ohio State University

Gina Relays
DateApril 25-27
Time6 p.m. | 12 p.m. | 10 a.m.
LocationKen Herrick Track | Hillsdale, Mich.
Host: Hillsdale College

At A Glance

  • The reigning indoor DMR national champions will compete together once again at the Penn Relays.
  • Both the men’s and women’s DMR teams were runners-up at the 2018 meet and look to rebound this season to win the coveted Penn Wheel.
  • A majority of the squad will compete at the Jesse Owens Invitational April 26-27 on the campus of Ohio State.
  • A select number of the distance team will head to Hillsdale, Michigan for the Gina Relays April 25-27.

By The Numbers

  • 29 — Between the two teams, 29 freshmen joined the ranks of the Fighting Irish for the 2018-19 season, including 11 women and 18 men.
  • 25 — At the preseason USTFCCCA rankings, the Irish women ranked 24th in the nation, following their 46th place finish at last season’s NCAA Championships. At the latest release, the women sit 25th in the nation.
  • 9 — As of April 22, nine Irish individuals account for 11 top-50 collegiate marks this season including two for Jess Harris and Yared Nuguse.
  • 6 — Six members of the Irish team qualified for nationals in the 2018 outdoor season, including four who return for the 2018-19 season.
  • 5 — Five current Irish team members hold Notre Dame school records on the track and in the field (outdoors), combining for five total records. Jess Harris (800m, 1500m, 3K, DMR), Anna Rohrer (10K), Kelly Hart (DMR), Gabe Diederich (Javelin) and Rachel Tanczos(Hammer Throw).
  • 4 — The Notre Dame Track & Field team welcomed four new faces to the coaching staff in 2018-19 including three assistants (Kendra Foley – W. Distance, Wayne Pate – Sprints, Rodney Zuyderwyk – Jumps) and a volunteer assistant coach (Cole Hester – M. Distance).
  • 3 — Yared Nuguse finished third at the Bryan Clay invitational with a personal best 1,500m race time of 3:38.32. His finish came just 0.03 seconds shy of the school record and is the third fastest recorded finish in the nation this season.
  • 3 — Three records have already fallen for the Irish this outdoor season. Gabrielle Diederich set the Notre Dame program record in the javelin at the Victor Lopez Invitational (47.21m) before Rachel Tanczos set the school hammer throw record and Jess Harris broke the previous 3K record for the Irish at the Louisville Invitational. Tanczos broke her own hammer throw record with a 64.28m mark at the Virginia Challenge on her way to second overall.
  • 1 — After her 4:13.04 finish in the 1,500m run at the Virginia Challenge, Jess Harris posts the fastest time in the country this season.
  • 1 — This is Matt Sparks’ first season at the helm of the Fighting Irish, having previously served four years as an assistant and associate head coach for the team.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

What They’re Saying

  • “This weekend is essentially our last chance to compete before the ACC Championship. For some, this will be a tune-up for the championship season and for others it will be an opportunity to try and qualify to compete at the conference meet. In order to maximize our opportunities, we will be traveling to three meets.” Hatherly-Piane Head Coach Matt Sparks.
  • “A small group of distance runners will compete at the Gina Relays in Hillsdale, Michigan, the majority of the team will compete at the Jesse Owens Classic and we will focus on our distance medley relays athletes at the historic Penn Relays.”
  • “This will be the last chance this year for our distance medley relay teams to compete together. The women and men were runners-up at the Penn Relays last year. With Jessica Harris and Yared Nuguse running the anchor leg we feel these teams can each compete for a championship.”

Last Time Out

  • Jess Harris set the nation-leading 1,500m time in the women’s race at the Virginia Challenge. Her time of 4:13.04 was a season best for the senior and led her to a first place finish in the event.
  • Yared Nuguse finished third of 162 participants in the 1,500m run at the Bryan Clay Invitational, recording the third best time in the nation in 2019. His finish of 3:38.32 came just 0.03 seconds shy of the Notre Dame record and was a personal best for Nuguse.
  • Rachel Tanczos broke her own school record in the hammer throw with a 64.28m throw on her fifth attempt before finishing second overall. She now boasts the 18th best mark in the country this year.
  • Two school records fell at the Louisville Invitational as Rachel Tanczos and Jess Harris added their names to the records book. Tanczos opened the meet with a 61.96m hammer throw outing, putting her 30th in the nation as of April 15. On the second day, Harris destroyed a 20-year-old record in the 3K, posting a 9:09.71 finish to break JoAnna Deeter’s record of 9:18.31 set in 1999.
  • Gabrielle Diederich etched her name in the Notre Dame records book with her 47.21m throw in the javelin at the Victor Lopez Classic to kick off the outdoor season.
  • Last season, the Irish sent six representatives to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, four of which return for the 2019 season.
  • Rachel DaDamio, Jessica Harris, Annie Heffernan and Anna Rohrer are all veterans of the championship meet, having competed last year to bring the women a tie for 46th place at the national meet.
  • At their most recent indoor meet, the Irish ran away with their fourth National Title in men’s program history when the DMR crossed the line first at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in 9:31.55.
  • Many indoor records fell in 2018-19, three of which stood at the end of the season. Logan Kusky broke numerous men’s weight throw records while Abbey Kapitan and Rachel Tanczos went back and forth with records in the women’s weight throw.
  • The men’s DMR set the fastest time in program and Meyo Track history with a 9:26.10 finish at the Alex Wilson Invitational and posted the second-best time ever recorded in the NCAA.
  • At the ACC Indoor Championships, Notre Dame recorded four conference titles in the Men’s DMR, Men’s Weight Throw, Women’s Weight Throw and Men’s Mile.

Up Next

Notre Dame will compete at the Billy Hayes Invitational next weekend (May 3) on the campus of Indiana University. 

The team will then travel back to Charlottesville, Virginia to compete at the 2019 ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The annual championship meet is scheduled to run May 9-11 on the University of Virginia’s campus.