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Keys To The Meet: NCAA East Regionals

May 23, 2017

By Megan Golden

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Notre Dame track and field team travels to Lexington in search of its 26th straight appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The Irish have 18 student-athletes entered to compete at the NCAA East Regional for the first two rounds of postseason competition from May 25-27 at Kentucky.

Notre Dame’s 18 student-athletes competing at the regional meet are entered in a combined 13 events. In total, the Irish have 20 entries in the meet.

The No. 24-ranked women’s squad will try to extend its streak to 24 consecutive appearances at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The men will look to bounce back after not making the trip for the first time in 22 years in 2016.

WHAT: NCAA East Regionals
WHEN: May 25-27, 2017 (All day)
WHERE: Kentucky Track (University of Kentucky)
LIVE STREAM: See details below.
LIVE RESULTS: Click here.

Runs In The Family

Graduate student Danielle Aragon (ranked No. 6 nationally) will compete in the 1,500m race alongside junior Jessica Harris (No. 7). Aragon owns the outdoor school record in the 1,500m (4:13.43), set during her junior year in 2015.

Aragon’s father, Chuck, was a two-time All-American for the Irish, coming in sixth place in the two-mile relay in 1979 and placing fifth in the 1,500m in 1981. Aragon’s sister, Alexa, was a four-time All-American at Notre Dame, finishing in the top eight in both the distance medley relay and the 3,000m steeplechase in 2013 and 2014.

Jumping For Joy

The Irish high-jumping duo of junior Hunter Holton and sophomore Matthew Birzer will seek personal records at the East Regional in order to qualify for each of their first appearances at nationals in June.

Birzer, who stands at No. 10 nationally, will make his second appearance at regionals. Holton makes his first career trip to the regional meet, entering ranked No. 46 in the country. Birzer owns a season-best mark of 2.16m this season (PR of 2.17m), while Holton has a personal record and season-best 2.08m jump.

Under The Radar

Sophomore Annie Heffernan returns to the track after being sidelined during ACC Championships. Heffernan, who placed 41st overall at this past fall’s NCAA Cross Country Championships, will race in the 10,000m this weekend. The race marks her third race of the season and second career 10,000m (also at the Virginia Challenge in April 2017).

Heffernan owns a season-best mark and personal record of 34:11.17 in the 10,000m.


  • The Irish women’s squad has made 23 straight appearances in the NCAA Outdoor Championships (1994-2016), while the men’s squad has qualified in 21 of the last 22 seasons (1995-2015).
  • Notre Dame has had more than one student-athlete qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships 40 times (17 seasons with two or more women; 36 seasons with two or more men).
  • Senior Nate Richartz, who owns the school record (5.51m) will look to set a personal record and qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the second time in his career. Richartz did not compete during the 2016 outdoor season.
  • Sophomore Anna Rohrer enters the postseason in search of her first national title. The 2016 ACC Cross Country Champion and ACC Indoor 5,000m Champion, Rohrer won her third and fourth ACC titles in the outdoor 10,000m and 5,000m on May 12 and May 14, respectively.
  • Notre Dame had 20 track and field student-athletes graduate this past weekend, including six of whom qualified for regionals: Jacob Dumford, Indi Jackson, Christopher Marco, Patrick O’Connell, Nate Richartz and Anthony Shivers.

Full Schedule (all times ET)

4 p.m. Men’s Hammer First Round Anthony Shivers
4:30 p.m. Women’s 400m Hurdles First Round Jordan Shead
5:30 p.m. Women’s 1500m First Round Danielle Aragon, Jessica Harris
6 p.m. Men’s 1500m First Round Jacob Dumford, Chris Marco
8:10 p.m. Women’s 800m First Round Kelly Hart
8:35 p.m. Men’s 800m First Round Kirk Hansen, Patrick O’Connell
9 p.m. Women’s 10000m Semifinal Anna Rohrer, Annie Heffernan, Kathleen Darling
9:40 p.m. Men’s 10000m Semifinal Kevin Pulliam
4:30 p.m. Men’s Pole Vault First Round Nate Richartz
6:30 p.m. Women’s 800m Quarterfinal TBD
6:45 p.m. Men’s 800m Quarterfinal TBD
7 p.m. Women’s 400m Hurdles Quarterfinal TBD
2 p.m. Men’s Discus First Round Anthony Shivers
6 p.m. Men’s High Jump First Round Matthew Birzer, Hunter Holton
6 p.m. Women’s Shot Put First Round Indi Jackson, Abbey Kapitan
6:30 p.m. Women’s 1500m Quarterfinal TBD
6:45 p.m. Men’s 1500m Quarterfinal TBD
8:05 p.m. Women’s 5000m Semifinal Anna Rohrer

Meet Coverage

The NCAA East Regionals will be streamed live by the NCAA beginning at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday. The live stream will start at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and Saturday’s action will be live at 6 p.m.

For a closer, behind-the-scenes look at the Irish track and field program, follow @NDXCTF on Twitter.


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.