March 16, 2018
By Matt Paras
CORAL GABLES, Florida – The Notre Dame track and field team opened up the outdoor season at the Hurricane Invitational. A number of field events got the two-day meet started Friday afternoon, highlighted by graduate student Nathan Richartz who broke the school record in the pole vault.
Richartz returned this weekend for his final season of eligibility and started it off with the best vault of his career. He broke the school record with a personal-best mark of 5.60m (18-04.50). He cleared 5.60m on his second attempt to finish first in the event and break the facility record at Cobb Stadium. The previous Notre Dame record was held by Richartz, which he set at the Louisville Invite last season.
“It was great to see Nate jumping in a Notre Dame uniform again, he didn’t disappoint at all,” said assistant coach Jim Garnham. “To open up at 5.60m in his first meet, just means Nate has solidified himself as one of the top jumpers in the country.”
Richartz wasn’t the only Irish pole vaulter to set a personal-best mark on the first day of the Hurricane Invitational. Freshman McKenna Caskey cleared 3.85m (12-07.50) on her first attempt to claim second place in the event and a personal record.
Matthew Birzer and Hunter Holton both performed well in the men’s high jump. Birzer cleared 2.05m (6-08.75) on his first attempt and Holden cleared it on his last attempt to finish second and third, respectively.
The Irish had four men in the discus and sophomore Shae Watkins led the way. He tallied a third-place finish with a personal-best throw of 49.84m (163-06). Daniel Hardiman finished sixth (46.67m) and Logan Kusky finished 10th (42.95m) to round out the Irish in the top 10. Carter Sorenson made his first collegiate appearance in the discus and his best mark of the afternoon was 30.32m.
Kusky set a personal-best mark in his second event of the day in the hammer throw. His fifth attempt traveled 61.27m (201-00) and it earned him a third-place finish. Abbey Kapitan also set a personal-best mark in the hammer. She tossed a 46.74m (153-04) on her first attempt.
On the women’s side in the discus, Kapitan and Rachel Tanczos tallied top-10 finishes for the Irish. The pair both had their first collegiate throws in the event and Tanczos placed seventh (40.79m) with Kapitan not far behind in 10th (35.23m).
Day two of the Hurricane Invitational will start back up tomorrow at noon ET. The javelin will be the first event of the day in the infield. The 4x100m relay will kick things off on the track at 1 pm.
A portion of tomorrow’s events will be broadcast live on the ACC Network Extra starting at 1 pm. Fans can follow along live here.
Matt Paras, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since January 2018. In his role, he coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse and cross country/track & field programs. A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, Paras is a graduate of the University of Louisville where he completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sport Administration. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, he worked at Vanderbilt University as the sports information contact for the women’s soccer and lacrosse programs.