June 27, 2016
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame senior standout Molly Seidel added another prestigious accolade to her career résumé by earning 2016 Academic All-America® Division I Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country first team recognition, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Seidel, the lone Notre Dame CoSIDA Academic All-America® representative for the spring 2016 season, became the third female student-athlete to claim first team Academic All-America® honors in Irish track & field/cross country history.
Carrying a cumulative 3.54 GPA in the College of Arts and Letters as a biological anthropology major with a minor in sustainability, Seidel (Hartland, Wisconsin/University Lake School) was the first Notre Dame recipient of CoSIDA Academic All-America® accolades in women’s track & field/cross country since Rebecca Tracy was a second team honoree in 2013. Seidel joined Theresa Rice (1989, cross country) and Stacey Cowan (2006) as female track & field/cross country CoSIDA Academic All-America® first team performers at Notre Dame in her second straight year on the national ballot, repeating as a CoSIDA All-Academic District V first team (2015-16) performer.
Seidel capped a standout cross country season in 2015 by winning her first national title in the sport with a time of 19:28.60 at the NCAA Cross Country Championships last November. She previously claimed the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship 6K with a time of 19:36.20, and the NCAA Great Lakes Regional 6K by clocking in at 20:04.40 on the road to the national championship meet. A cross country All-America selection, Seidel also claimed ACC Women’s Cross Country Performer of the Year, ACC Women’s Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and was tabbed as the Honda Sport Award winner as the top female athlete nationally in cross country.
A strong indoor track season in the ACC followed for Seidel, who entered 2016 as the defending ACC Indoor champion in the 3,000 and 5,000-meter events. Seidel completed the ACC repeat with a time of 9:02.24 in the 3,000m and 15:19.64 in the 5,000m to sweep the events at the 2016 ACC Indoor Championships. The stellar runs set the stage for a dominant outing at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships, where Seidel logged Notre Dame school record times in the 3,000m (8:57.86) and 5,000m (15:15.21) to double as the NCAA champion in both distances.
Along with first team USTFCCCA Track & Field All-American recognition during the 2016 indoor season as the 3,000m and 5,000m national champion, Seidel also doubled on the all-ACC first team. She added ACC Women’s Indoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete recognition to her academic accomplishments for the competitive year.
Seidel’s four combined national championship victories (2015 NCAA Outdoor 10,000m, 2015 NCAA Cross Country 6K, 2016 NCAA Indoor 3,000m and 2016 NCAA Indoor 5,000m) are a Notre Dame program record. Seidel claimed six combined All-America citations (two cross country, four track) during her Irish career, to go along with nine all-ACC scrolls and four all-ACC academic team nods.
In recognition of outstanding achievement in cross country, Seidel was recently announced as Notre Dame’s nominee for the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year award, one of a record 517 student-athletes across the country in consideration for the award. The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service and leadership.
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men's soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and with the National Football League's Buffalo Bills.