Nov. 17, 2016
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame track and field program on Thursday announced it has received a National Letter of Intent from nine members of the Class of 2017. The early signing period officially concluded on Wednesday.
The Irish recruiting class includes one women’s pole vaulter and eight men’s distance runners. The group features three high school state champions and one state runner-up (all in cross country). The class hails from eight different states.
“We are really excited about our early signees,” Irish head coach Alan Turner said. “Our goal was and still is for the class of 2017, to bring in more talent on the men’s side. We have been a little thin in numbers and were hit with injuries, especially on the men’s distance side last year.
“With the additions of Brian Griffith, Yared Nuguse, Matthew Frazier, Kyle Fulk, Brendan Fraser, Parker Jones, William Cole and Vincent Zona, we have filled a lot of needs in the distance events. I am looking forward to how this group finishes up their cross country postseasons and the upcoming 2017 track season. Our future is much brighter with the addition of these guys.”
The men’s distance squad is one of most youthful areas of the track and field roster, featuring just two seniors.
“This recruiting class will add the needed depth to a very young men’s distance team,” Irish assistant coach Sean Carlson said. “It is hard not to get excited about the future of the men’s distance group with the freshman currently on the team and the addition of this class.”
Turner said he has high expectations for No. 3-ranked high school pole vaulter McKenna Caskey, who joins a talented group of Irish pole vaulters.
“For the women, we currently have high quality across the board in most events,” Turner said. “With McKenna Caskey, the No. 3 returning U.S. high school pole vaulter, we solidify that event as well. We expect McKenna to be a national qualifier, big ACC scorer and eventually an All-American for us.”
Class of 2017:
McKenna Caskey – Huntington Beach, Calif. – Mater Dei High School
- Owns the No. 3-ranked pole vaulter in high school with a best jump of 13-8
Will Cole – Overland Park, Kan. – Saint Thomas Acquinas High School
- Kansas Cross Country State Champion
Matt Fraizer – West Des Moines, Iowa – Dowling Catholic High School
- Owns a personal record of 1:52 in the 800m
Brendan Fraser – Pontiac, Mich. – Pontiac Notre Dame Preparatory
- Runner-up at the Michigan Cross Country State Championship
- Has a personal record of 9:14 in the 3,200m race
Kyle Fulk – Norwood, N.Y. – Norwood-Norfolk Central High School
- New York Cross Country State Champion
- Owns a personal record of 9:16 in the 3,200m
Brian Griffith – Lake Zurich, Ill. – Lake Zurich High School
- Finished in seventh at Nike Nationals Midwest
- Owns a personal record of 14:14 in the three-mile race
Parker Jones – Pendleton, Ind. – Pendleton Heights High School
- Owns a personal record of 4:12 in the 1,600m race
Yared Nuguse – Louisville, Ky. – DuPont Manual High School
- Kentucky Cross Country State Champion
Vincent Zona – LaGrange, Ill. – Lyons Township High School
- Owns personal records of 4:14 in the 1,600m and 14:22 in the three-mile race
For more information on the Notre Dame track and field program, visit UND.com/track and follow the Irish @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.