Fighting Irish Take Gold At NCAAs

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Fighting Irish men’s track and field team claimed its fourth NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship Friday night as the nation’s top distance medley relay team held strong, crossing the finish line in 9:31.55 for the title.

“I’m incredibly proud of these guys for buying in to each other, our program and Notre Dame,” assistant coach Sean Carlson said. “These guys represent everything about the culture of our program and what we have been building here.”

Dylan Jacobs was hot from the start for the Irish, recording a 1,200m split of 2:57.48 to keep the Irish in the pack. Handing the baton off to Edward Cheatham, the team was in solid position as he recorded a 400m time of 48.17.

The pack was still thick halfway through the race as Samuel Voelz took over for the Irish. His 800m leg of 1:49.89 put the team in sixth heading into the final stretch.

Yared Nuguse eyed down the competition, gaining a lot of ground early and taking over the lead just over a lap into the 1,600m stretch. He held a close lead until the final lap as Stanford’s miler snuck up behind him. Gaining strides in the final straightaway, Yared Nuguse then overtook the competition at the finish line to clinch the Irish victory. Nuguse’s split of 3:56.03 was his second fastest mile time of the season.

“When I’m doing it for my team out there I give it all that I have, and it paid off tonight,” Yared Nuguse said post-race.

The men entered the race as the top-seed, leading the nation this season and holding the second-best time in NCAA after racing to a 9:26.10 finish at the Alex Wilson Invitational in February.

This is Notre Dame’s second NCAA DMR title, having won in 2012. They also hold NCAA titles in the 600y run (Rick Wohlhuter, 1970) and the 55m hurdles (Tom McMannon, 1972).