Feb. 24, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Former Notre Dame women’s track and field standouts Molly Huddle (2006) and Mary Saxer (2009) continue to impress nationally as they move farther and farther away from their standout careers with the Irish.
Huddle recently placed second at the USA Cross Country Championships in quite the photo finish. Racing down the stretch with Sara Hall, Huddle hit the tape at the same time as Hall, as each finished in a time of 26:50.1 on the 8K course. After a photo review, Hall was declared the winner. Huddle has now finished as runner-up at the USA Cross Country Championships three years in a row. With the second place finish, Huddle qualified for the NACAC Cross Country Championships that will be held in Port of Spain, Trinidad on March 17.
The Elmira, N.Y., native, who trains in Providence, R.I., is the U.S record holder in the 5,000 meters and is a three-time USA 10K road champion. She won the 5,000m at the U.S. Track and Field Championships last June, and competed at the World Championships in South Korea last August. She now turns her attention to the June Olympic Trials as she tries to qualify for the 5,000m.
During her time running with the Irish, Huddle amassed 15 all-BIG EAST scrolls in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field and won seven track and field titles. She also was named BIG EAST Outstanding Track Performer twice and was a nine-time All-American.
Saxer is coming off a third-place performance at the Millrose Games in New York City. There she placed third with a vault of 4.40m (14-5 ft). Before that she vaulted 4.30m (14-1 ft) at the Taylor Invitational in Indiana and 4.22 (13-10 ft) at the U.S. Open at Madison Square Garden. At that meet a photo of Saxer vaulting appeared in Sports Illustrated’s Leading Off section. The photo is of Saxer vaulting with the legendary MSG roof in the background.
Since graduation, just some of the Saxer highlights include a third-place showing at the 2010 Outdoor U.S. National Championships and third at the Diamond League meet in Shanghai.
The Lancaster, N.Y., product will next compete at the Indoor U.S. Nationals in Albuquerque, N.M., this Saturday. She is currently ranked 19th in the world in the pole vault and is third in the U.S. Looking to compete in the London Olympics, Saxer will take part in the Olympic trials in June.
During her time with the Irish, Saxer won three BIG EAST titles in the pole vault, while earning five all-BIG EAST citations. She earned All-America honors in 2009 in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault.