June 17, 2018
By Matt Paras
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Notre Dame track & field team had three athletes compete in the 2018 USATF Junior Outdoor Championships this weekend with the goal to qualify for Team USATF and represent their country at the upcoming IAAF World U20 Championships. Yared Nuguse did just that Sunday afternoon after winning the men's 1500m final and punched his ticket to Finland.
"Yared ran the exact race we had talked about and won," said assistant coach Sean Carlson. "It will be good for him to get some international racing experience in Finland at the World Junior Championships. We have big goals for him over the next 3 years at Notre Dame."
Nuguse was one of 11 athletes in the final with the top-two finishers gaining an automatic qualifier to the U20 Championships. Nuguse brought the top seed time to the race and jumped out in front over the first two laps. Heading into the final lap, Nuguse was second overall but that did not last long as he had a strong final lap. He recorded a 56.37 split over the final 400 meters to cross the finish line first (3:49.65) and claim the USATF Junior National Championship.
John Stefan and Rachel Tanczos were the other Irish representatives this weekend in Bloomington. Stefan placed eighth overall in the men's shot put with his best throw of 18.09m (59-4.25). Tanczos competed in three events over the weekend with her best finish coming in the women's shot put. Tanczos finished seventh with her best mark of 14.53m (47-8). She also finished 16th in the discus with a 38.66m (126-10).
Nuguse will travel to Finland with Team USATF in just three short weeks. The IAAF World U20 Championships will take place in Tampere, Finland starting on July 10. The men's 1500m heats will start in the morning of July 10 and the final is scheduled for the evening of July 12.
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.