Molly Seidel earned the women's Most Valuable Track Performer award at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday.

Irish Women Snare 3rd At ACCs, Seidel Named MVP

Feb. 28, 2015

BLACKSBURG, Va. — For the second year in a row, the University of Notre Dame women’s track & field program made a statement at the Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships. The 24th-ranked Irish made strong showings in Saturday’s finals to repeat last season’s third-place finish.

Notre Dame scored 74 points to finish behind champion Clemson (102 points) and Florida State (81). En route to their third top-three (indoor and outdoor) ACC finish since joining the conference, the Irish saw two conference champions crowned in three events, and claimed the women’s Most Valuable Track Performer. Junior Molly Seidel earned the distinction with her sweep of the distance event titles.

The MVP honor was the second for an Irish runner in as many seasons, with Chris Giesting earning the award on the men’s side last year. But even after the weekend she had, Seidel required a little prodding to receive her hardware.

“It’s an incredible honor,” Seidel said. “I had no idea I was going to get it. They had to trick me to go out onto the infield to go get it. To see the level of competition and the level of performers out there (in the ACC), it gives the honor a lot of weight. I’m in total disbelief and I think it speaks not just for me, but our whole team.”

“It says that we have some of the top track and field athletes in the country, in on of the toughest conferences in the country,” head coach Alan Turner added. “That speaks volumes about the types of student-athletes we have and we’re so proud of Molly (for winning it this year). She struggled her first couple of seasons, but she’s grown so much.

“It was something that we knew was possible. We knew she was going to win the 5,000, but the trick was coming back the next day.”

Siedel earned her second ACC individual crown of the weekend on Saturday, following up Friday’s 5,000 meters title with a victory in the 3,000 meters in 9:10.63. The junior entered the race with the second-best seed time behind Boston College’s Liv Westphal, but Seidel bested the Eagles’ standout, who finished fifth, by eight seconds.

“It was a great day,” Seidel said. “We went into it with the energy with a lot of people doing really well. That really gave me a lot of drive to go out and finish strong for the team. I was so happy with how it turned out.

“I think for the 3k, I knew it was going to be a big challenge with Liv Westphal having the top-seeded time and I knew it was going to be significantly faster than the 5K. I wanted to be cautiously optimistic and leave everything I had on the track.”

Turner said that increased self-confidence, paired with the influence of new associate head coach Matt Sparks, has helped lift Seidel to her current top-performing level. Seidel agreed.

“(Sparks) has really been helping me to keep from pushing myself to far, keeping me from going too overboard and helping me from getting injured,” Seidel said. “Just being healthy and going into races builds that confidence level, and trusting in the training Sparks is having me do helps me build off the good races to go into larger championship meets.”

Junior Margaret Bamgbose added to the Irish scrolls, claiming her first ACC indoor individual title and breaking a Notre Dame and meet record in the 400 meters with a time of 52.10, beating out Miami’s Shakima Wimbley by 0.05 seconds. An hour later, Bamgbose placed sixth in the 200 meters (24.13), good for second-team All-ACC recognition. She later helped the Irish 4×400-meter relay team, including Parker English, Jordan Shead and Amber Lalla, to a third-place finish (3:37.56).

“We knew (Margaret) was going to be a contender, but we knew it was not going to be easy,” Turner said. “She’s always been a very strong finisher and she was definitely pushed by those girls. The ACC is one of the toughest conferences for the women’s 400.”

Elsewhere, Danielle Aragon placed second in the mile to earn All-ACC accolades, posting a personal best time of 4:37.68. Aragon also finished sixth in the 3,000 meters, winning her heat in 9:22.34 for second-team All-ACC recognition. Jade Barber matched her season best 8.20 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, finishing second in the event. Emily Morris also offered an All-ACC performance, finishing third in the shot put (15.35m).

Mary Esther Gourdin recorded a season-best mark in the triple jump. Her fifth-place hop of 12.68 meters was both a Notre Dame school record and good for second-team conference honors. Jessica Harris finished seventh in the 800 meters (2:09.22).

“The outlook for next year on the women’s side, with the recruits we have and our younger women, we’re looking forward to a successful outdoor season and success for some time to come,” Turner said.

The Irish men’s squad finished 12th with 26 points. Chris Giesting earned All-ACC honors with a second-place performance in the 400 meters (46.78) while Eric Ways finished seventh in the same event (48.11). Junior Michael Clevenger was also seventh in the 3,000 meters (8:08.21).

Giesting and Ways returned to place third in the 4×400-meter relay (3:11.06) with teammates Harvey Smith and Alex Groesch to close out the meet.

The next action for the Irish will come at the NCAA Indoor Championships, March 13 and 14 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. To keep up with Irish track & field, follow @NDXCTF on Twitter and like Notre Dame Cross Country/Track & Field on Facebook.

ACC Championships

1. Clemson, 102 points
2. Florida State, 81
3. Notre Dame, 74
4. North Carolina, 62.50
5. Duke, 59.50
6. North Carolina State, 55.50
7. Miami, 48
8. Virginia Tech, 44.50
9. Virginia, 35.50
10. Syracuse, 34
11. Wake Forest, 19.50
12. Louisville, 16
13. Boston College, 13
14. Georgia Tech, 10
15. Pittsburgh, 8

2. Danielle Aragon, 4:37.68**

60-meter hurdles
2. Jade Barber, 8.20**

400 meters
1. Margaret Bamgbose, 52.10*+**

800 meters
7. Jessica Harris, 2:09.22

200 meters
6. Margaret Bamgbose, 24.13***

3,000 meters
1. Molly Seidel, 9:10.63**
6. Danielle Aragon, 9:22.34***
13. Sydni Meunier, 9:33.29

4×400-meter relay
3. Notre Dame, 3:37.56**
Parker English, Jordan Shead, Amber Lalla, Margaret Bamgbose

Shot Put
3. Emily Morris, 15.35m**

Triple Jump
5. Mary Esther Gourdin, 12.68m*, ***

4. Danielle Aragon, 4:47.81 Q
11. Taylor Driscoll, 4:52.27
26. Karen Lesiewicz, 5:03.01

60-meter hurdles
1. Jade Barber, 8.24 Q
25. Taylor Craft, 9.13

400 meters
1. Margaret Bamgbose, 53.79 Q
11. Parker English, 55.09
16. Jordan Shead, 55.84
17. Amber Lalla, 55.88

60 meters
12. Jade Barber, 7.58
Emily Carson, DNS

800 meters
6. Jessica Harris, 2:08.23 Q
10. Samantha Murray, 2:08.66
14. Jamie Marvil, 2:11.43
23. Alexis Daugherty, 2:14.37
30. Ashlyn Rambo, 2:17.33

200 meters
5. Margaret Bamgbose, 24.08 Q
19. Allison Bartoszewicz, 24.87

5,000 meters
1. Molly Seidel, 15:55.84**
15. Emily Frydrych, 17:02.97

Long Jump
8. Emily Carson, 5.89m

Pole Vault
Kayla Polcari, NH

High Jump
Rachel Rhodes, NH


6. Rachel Rhodes, 3675***
60m hurdles: 13th, 9.55
High jump: 6th, 1.67m
Shot put: 9th, 10.10m
Long jump: 8th, 5.34m
800m: 2nd, 2:16.72

Distance Medley Relay
10. Notre Dame, 11:37.91
Ashlyn Rambo, Payton Miller, Alexis Daugherty, Emily Frydrych

Weight Throw
12. Lena Madison, 17.12m
14. Ihuoma Nwaogwugwu, 16.87m
15. Emily Morris, 16.63m


1. Virginia Tech, 101 points
2. Florida State, 86.50
3. Virginia, 71
4. North Carolina, 67
5. Clemson, 63
6. Syracuse 41
7. Duke, 39
8. Miami, 37.50
9. Pittsburgh, 29
10. North Carolina State, 29
11. Louisville, 29
12. Notre Dame, 26
13. Wake Forest, 24
14. Georgia Tech, 20
15. Boston College, 0

9. Christopher Quinn, 4:09.03

400 meters
2. Chris Giesting, 46.78**
7. Eric Ways, 48.11

3,000 meters
7. Michael Clevenger, 8:08.21
22. Jake Kildoo, 8:19.87
28. Brent Kennedy, 8:27.51

4×400-meter relay
3. Notre Dame, 3:11.06**
Eric Ways, Harvey Smith, Alex Groesch, Chris Giesting

7. Christopher Quinn, 4:07.55 Q
31. Billy Dolan, 4:20.17

400 meters
1. Chris Giesting, 47.24 Q
7. Eric Ways, 47.83 Q
22. Harvey Smith, 49.11

60 meters
12. Keith Mesidor, 7.02

800 meters
13. Grant Koch, 1:52.88
24. Patrick O’Connell, 1:54.26
25. Andrew Stone, 1:54.94

200 meters
10. Harvey Smith, 21.89
16. Keith Mesidor, 22.20
19. Chris Giesting, 22.23

5,000 meters
10. Jake Kildoo, 14.24.75
11. Michael Clevenger, 14:26.42
17. Brent Kennedy, 14:46.22

High Jump
10. Hunter Holton, 2.02m

Long Jump
8. Keith Mesidor, 7.23m

5. Brent Swanberg, 5,201 points***
60 meters: 14th, 7.56
Long jump: 5th, 6.82m
Shot put: 9th, 12.32m
High jump: 2nd, 1.99m
60-meter hurdles: 5th, 8.57
Pole vault: 9th, 4.25m
1,000 meters: 6th, 2:48.11


Distance Medley Relay
9. Notre Dame, 9:54.47
Christopher Quinn, Alex Groesch, Andrew Stone, Billy Dolan

Weight Throw
8. Dominick Padovano, 19.23m
13. Nicholas Hauser, 17.76m
16. Anthony Shivers, 16.94m

* Notre Dame record
** All-ACC First Team
*** All-ACC Second Team
+ ACC Championship record

Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant