Aug. 10, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Former 10-time Notre Dame All-America distance runner Molly Huddle (’06) competed in the finals of the 5,000-meter run on Friday night, capping a historic performance by Fighting Irish athletes at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.
WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD
Huddle placed 11th in the 5,000-meter final in a time of 15:20.29 on Friday night at the Olympics Stadium in London. Competing in her first Olympic Games, Huddle qualified for the final with a season-best time of 15:02.25 in Tuesday’s preliminaries, but Friday’s run for the gold was run at a much slower and more tactical pace, with the 15-person field bunched tightly until the final three laps of the 12.5-lap race. Ironically, Huddle’s time in her qualifying heat would have won the 5,000-meter final by a full two seconds, with Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar winning the gold in 15:04.25.
Huddle’s participation was the last for a school-record contingent of 11 Notre Dame athletes who took part in the London Olympics, with that group combining for a school-record five medals (one gold, four bronze). Three of those medals came in women’s soccer, with American Shannon Boxx (’99) becoming the first Fighting Irish athlete to earn three Olympic gold medals, while Canadians Candace Chapman (’05) and Melissa Tancredi (’04) led their country to the bronze medal, Canada’s first medal of any kind in a traditional team sport since 1936 (silver medal in men’s basketball).
In addition, senior fencer Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas/Earl Warren) and alum Kelley Hurley (’10) contributed to the record-setting Notre Dame medal count in London, each earning a bronze for the U.S. in the women’s team epee competition. It was the first time the United States had ever won a medal in that event, and the first time an American team of either gender won a team epee medal since 1932, when the U.S. men took bronze.
Notre Dame athletes have earned 13 medals (including eight golds) in the past three Olympiads after collecting 11 medals (two golds) combined in 16 prior Olympic Games (15 summer, one winter) that featured competitors with Fighting Irish ties, dating back to the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.
For more information on Notre Dame participants at the 2012 London Olympics, visit the special Notre Dame Olympics microsite (und.com/olympics), the official London Olympics web site (london2012.com) or the official NBC Olympics web site (nbcolympics.com).
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