Oct. 28, 2016
By Megan Golden
CARY, N.C. — The University of Notre Dame cross country team raced through the wooded trail and recorded its second consecutive individual ACC Championship on Friday at WakeMed Soccer Park. Irish sophomore Anna Rohrer (19:26.4) earned her first conference title, leading the No. 19-ranked women to a second-place finish as a team in the 6K race.
Rohrer, sophomore Annie Heffernan (second, 20:05.0) and graduate student Danielle Aragon (ninth, 20:19.4) each recorded Irish personal records and earned All-ACC honors. Rohrer’s top-21 finish in the meet marked the second of her career. Aragon, who competed in her third career conference championship, and Heffernan made the all-conference team for the second time.
Senior Lexi Pelletier (23rd, 20:43.9) and sophomore Rachel DaDamio (38th, 21:06.7) rounded out the top five for the Irish women, who placed second behind No. 3 North Carolina State.
The young Notre Dame men’s team turned in an impressive performance, finishing 10th overall. Sophomore Anthony Williams (24:02.1), who has battled an injury over the past week, led the way for the Irish in the 8K with a 28th-place finish. Williams’ time was an Irish PR.
Women’s Runner of the Meet
Rohrer followed last season’s second-place finish with a conference championship and PR, defeating the second-place finisher by a margin of 25.3 seconds. She led for the bulk of the race and has now finished in the top three in each meet she has competed in this season.
“I was planning on making it at least halfway through with the pack, but I just was feeling good,” Rohrer said. “I know my strength is in the middle of the race oftentimes. I wanted to grind it out and see if I could get a good PR.”
Men’s Runner of the Meet
Williams surprised his coaches and teammates with the strongest performance of his career. Williams surpassed his previous PR of 24:29.1 (2016 Bradley Classic 8K) after sitting out of team workouts for several days due to injury.
“Being 28th today was huge for him, and that helped the team in a big way in terms of where we’re at,” assistant coach Sean Carlson said. “Where he is this year shows the younger guys the improvement curve they can make in a year. That’s exciting for the future.”
Sophomore Anna Rohrer Says…
On what it feels like to win a conference championship…
“It’s definitely a big confidence booster being able to win the ACC Championship going into regionals and nationals, but I think overall, I’m just excited to be able to represent our university and our team, really pull together and get second place today.”
On winning the title after finishing in second place behind Molly Seidel last season…
“Seeing Molly win last year was a really big motivation. Getting second [place] to her, knowing it was her last year and I’d have some footsteps to follow, I didn’t want to disappoint myself. I really wanted to represent the Irish as well as I could, and I’m really excited to bring home a title for them.”
Coming Up Next
The Irish travel to Madison, Wisconsin, to compete in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on November 11 at the Zimmer Championship Course.
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.