Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Race To Virginia For ACC Championships

The 2019 edition of the conference championships are set to begin Thursday afternoon in the field before events on the track get underway that evening.

DateMay 9-11
Time2 p.m. | 3:30 p.m. | 1:30 p.m.
Location: Lannigan Field | Charlottesville, Virginia
Host: Atlantic Coast Conference | University of Virginia
Live StreamACC Network Extra

At A Glance

  • The meet continues Friday and Saturday with the ACC Champions being crowned Saturday night following the men’s 4x400m relay set for a gun start at 6:50 p.m.
  • Currently, eight Irish sit in the top-5 of the ACC in 11 events, including eight in the top-3.
  • The Irish reign supreme in the 1500m run as Jess Harris and Yared Nuguse both own the top time in their respective races. Harris boasts the top time in the country while Nuguse’s finish at the Bryan Clay Invitational earned him a third best time in the nation.
  • The ACC Freshman of the Year through the fall cross country season, Jackie Gaughan holds the fastest time of the freshman class in both the 5K and 10K while boasting the third best time in the conference in both.
  • Last year at the ACC Outdoor Championships, the Irish women finished ninth with 49 points while the men placed 12th overall, tallying 33.5 over the three-day event.
  • Two Irish individuals earned ACC weekly honors during the outdoor season as Jess Harris and Yared Nuguse were named Performers of the Week (April 24) following their 1,500m races at the Virginia Challenge (Harris) and Bryan Clay Invitational (Nuguse).

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.
  • 8 — As of April 30, eight Irish individuals account for 12 top-50 collegiate marks this season including two for Jacqueline Gaughan, Jessica Harris, Rachel Tanczos 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 eight total records. Jess Harris (800m, 1500m, 3K, DMR), Anna Rohrer (10K), Kelly Hart (DMR), Gabe Diederich (Javelin) and Rachel Tanczos (Hammer Throw, Discus).
  • 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.
  • 4 — 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. Tanczos broke another record at the Jesse Owens Classic, this time in discus, with a throw of 52.71m and third overall
  • 1 — After her 4:13.04 finish in the 1,500m run at the Virginia Challenge, Jess Harris posted the fastest women’s 1500m time in the country this season. At the end of the regular season she ranked second overall after Jessica Hull of Oregon set the top time on May 2.
  • 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
"Our athletes are in the process of taking final exams and that has presented some challenges but for the most part we have had a productive couple weeks of training leading up to the championship""We will be moving some athletes around in events to maximize points without sacrificing NCAA Championship opportunities down the line." -- Hatherly-Piane Head Coach Matt Sparks.

What They’re Saying

  • “Our athletes are in the process of taking final exams and that has presented some challenges but for the most part we have had a productive couple weeks of training leading up to the championship”
  • “We will be moving some athletes around in events to maximize points without sacrificing NCAA Championship opportunities down the line.” — Hatherly-Piane Head Coach Matt Sparks.

Last Time Out

  • Rachel Tanczos continued her record breaking run at the Jesse Owens Invitational, posting a mark of 52.71m for the top throw in Notre Dame program history.
  • Jess Harris set the then-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

  • The Irish are hoping to qualify for a spot at the 2019 Outdoor Track and Field National Championships as 16 individuals are slated to compete in the NCAA East Regional Championships, May 23-25 (as of May 6).
  • Competitors are determined individually by event, in descending order, with the top-48 in each region earning bids.
  • At the conclusion of the regular season, seven men and nine women ranked in the top-48 of the East Region in hopes of solidifying a berth in the NCAA meet following the upcoming ACC Championships.
  • As well as leading the conference, Jess Harris and Yared Nuguse both top the East Region in the 1,500m run while posting a top-11 time in the 800m.
  • Rachel Tanczos leads the team, looking to qualify in three field events including the hammer throw, discus and shot put. She sat 11th, 22nd, and 35th in those events, respectively, at the conclusion of the regular season.
  • Nationally, eight Irish individuals rank in the top-50 for their events, including Yared Nuguse, Jess Harris, Jackie Gaughan and Rachel Tanczos who each highlight multiple events.