June 7, 2018
By Matt Paras
EUGENE, Ore. – A trio of women’s distance runners were up to represent the Irish Thursday night at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Jessica Harris and Anna Rohrer were both making their second career appearances at Hayward Field while Annie Heffernan was competing for the first time in her career.
As usual, Rohrer raced out to the front pack in the 10000m and helped set the pace for the field. Rohrer was in fourth overall for the first 13 laps and made a push into third with 11 laps remaining as the front group separated themselves from the field. With five laps remaining, Rohrer pushed forward once again and took the lead and held that lead with three laps remaining.
Over the final three laps, the rest of the front pack was able to pass Rohrer but she still finished strong. She crossed the finish line sixth overall with a time of 32:26.24. Rohrer earned first team All-American honors and her time broke the old meet record which was set back in 1988. Rohrer’s sixth-place finish is the highest finish for the Irish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships since Margaret Bamgbose finished fourth in the 400m in 2016.
Heffernan raced well in her first career appearance at Hayward Field in the 10000m, as she was in the middle pack of runners. The junior from Cincinnati, Ohio got up as high as 15th during the middle of the race as she battled for position in her pack. Heffernan finished 17th overall with a 34:07.99 to earn honorable mention All-America.
Harris was looking to claim her second consecutive finals appearance in the 1500m at nationals after finishing 10th overall last season. Harris went up against an extremely talented field in the first heat of the semifinals. Through three laps, she was in the middle of the pack but right outside the automatic qualifying positions. She crossed the finish line with a season-best time of 4:12.96 but finished ninth and missed out on the final by .88 seconds.
On the first day of the championships, graduate student Nate Richartz closed out his Irish career with an 11th-place finish in the pole vault. Richartz cleared 5.30m to earn second team All-American honors, his fifth All-American honor of his career.
Richartz was a perfect six-for-six during the regular season meets, winning every pole vault event he competed in. He won his third career ACC Championship in Coral Gables by setting the school, facility and championship record after clearing 5.70m (18-8.50).
Meet Coverage (All times ET)
The NCAA Championships will be broadcast by the ESPN Family of Networks for the duration of the four-day meet. See the complete broadcast schedule below.
Friday, June 8:
3:20 p.m. ESPN3
8:30 p.m. ESPN
Saturday, June 9:
5:30 p.m. ESPN3
6:30 p.m. ESPN
Fans are encouraged to view the entire event schedule 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.