Matt Paras | May 30, 2018
TAMPA, Fla. – The Notre Dame track and field team closed out the east preliminary round with three more athletes claiming their spots at NCAA’s. Matthew Birzer in the high jump, Jessica Harris in the 1500m and Rachel DaDamio in the 5000m punched their tickets to Eugene, bringing the Irish total up to six athletes for the upcoming NCAA Outdoor Championships.
The highlight of the meet for the Irish came in the final event of weekend as DaDamio put together one of her best races in the first heat of the 5000m. For a majority of the race, she was in the middle pack of the runners until the field started to separate in the final mile of the race. With two laps remaining, DaDamio started to make her move. She was in ninth place with 800 meters to go and she started to catch up with the front pack. On the final straightaway, DaDamio made her final pass and crossed the finish line in fifth place (16:21.13) to clinch her first career trip to Eugene.
Harris was slated to run in the first of two heats in the 1500m and minutes before race time, the skies opened up above USF Track and Field Stadium and the rain started to come down. The rain did not let up as the gun went off for Harris’ heat and as she usual does, she jumped out to the front to set the pace. By the third lap, the rain let up and the lead pack separated themselves from the field. Coming down the final straightaway, Harris finished in fifth (4:17.86) and secured her second consecutive trip to NCAA’s.
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