Dec. 1, 2016
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame track and field program opens its indoor season with the Blue & Gold Invitational on Friday at Loftus Sports Center.
Notre Dame begins its track and field season in one of four home meets this season, hosting the likes of Bethel, DePaul, Detroit Mercy, Marquette and Valparaiso.
“I am excited to start another season of Notre Dame track and field. Being the first meet and it being in December, it’s mostly about where my team is training-wise,” Notre Dame track and field head coach Alan Turner said. “The other coaches also use this meet as a barometer of how the training has gone this fall. It doesn’t mean that it will not be a great competition; it will.
“DePaul has become one of the top teams in the new Big East and has several good athletes in areas. My team will have to compete and not just go through the motions if we are going to be successful tomorrow.”
The Irish return several members of a successful 2015-16 roster, including senior pole vaulter Nathan Richartz and senior thrower Anthony Shivers. Richartz, who won his first Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in the pole vault (5.46m) last season, will lead the men’s team this season.
Junior Billy Dolan and senior Jake Dumford, who ran during the cross country season, had strong performances last indoor season and will compete with Notre Dame’s middle-distance squad.
The Irish return a core group of women’s distance runners, many of whom will not see action for several weeks following a long cross country postseason run. Junior Jessica Harris will likely compete with the top runners in the country following a fifth-place finish in the 800m race (2:07.67) at the ACC Championships. Graduate student Molly Seidel and sophomore Anna Rohrer will look to compete with the top talent in the country.
“The team and I are positive [heading into this season]. Last outdoor season both teams dealt with several injuries that limited our production at the conference and national levels,” Turner said. “This season, most of our key women are healthy, and with the return of Molly Seidel, we will again make a run at the ACC title and a top-10 national finish.
“For the men, we still have a few that are recovering from surgery, but the returning men along with a crop of incoming freshmen, we are looking forward to moving back into the upper ranks of the ACC.”
What: Blue & Gold Invitational
When: Friday, December 2 at 4:30 p.m. ET
Where: Loftus Sports Center, University of Notre Dame
Live Results: DeltaTiming.com
This year’s meet marks the 11th annual Blue & Gold Invitational, which is hosted on Notre Dame’s campus each season. The Irish won 14 events in last season’s meet as the men and women each won seven events.
Richartz finished first in the pole vault (5.05m), Shivers placed first in the weight throw (19.24m) and current senior Harvey Smith earned first place in the 200m race (21.97).
On the women’s side, Harris won the one-mile race (4:54.97), junior Jordan Shead finished first in the 400m race (56.39) and junior Alexis Daugherty placed first in the 800m (2:12.35).
The Champ Is Back
Four-time national champion Molly Seidel returned to Notre Dame for a fifth year and will compete during the 2016-17 indoor and outdoor track and field seasons. Seidel, a 2016 graduate, captured titles at the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championship and in the 10,000m event at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Cross Country Rewind
Sophomore Anna Rohrer raced to a third-place finish (19:44.6) at the 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championship in Terre Haute, Indiana. Rohrer, the 2016 ACC Champion, recorded the second-fastest NCAA Championship 6K time in Irish women’s program history (behind Molly Seidel).
Live results will be available at DeltaTiming.com. For a closer look at the action, follow @NDXCTF on Twitter and Facebook.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.