SOUTH BEND — Friday was Anna Rohrer’s birthday. So Notre Dame’s distance ace decided to give herself a present.
Breaking the field with a surprisingly-early surge, the now 20-year-old sophomore finished first in the women’s 5,000-meter run at the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) indoor track & field championships.
With a huge fan base – including many from her hometown of Mishawaka – cheering every step at Notre Dame’s Loftus Center, Rohrer broke open the race as soon as the lead pack reached the 1K mark.
Before it was over, Rohrer would lap much of the field, and her winning time of 15 minutes, 38.11 seconds is a sure qualifier for the NCAA indoor championships. It’s the third-fastest time in the nation this season.
Defending champion and Rohrer’s teammate, Molly Seidel, looked on from the sidelines, unable to run due to an ankle injury. “That girl (Rohrer) is tough,” Seidel said.
Almost as soon as the race was over, Rohrer went to cool down and get some rest, knowing she must race again Saturday. The women’s 3,000-meter run is slated for 2:20 p.m.
After two days of competition, Louisville is the women’s team leader with 43½ points, while Florida State is second with 37. Notre Dame stands sixth with 23.
On the men’s side, Virginia holds a two-point edge over Louisville, 39-37. Notre Dame is tied for sixth with 14.
Louisville recorded a 1-2-3 finish in the men’s high jump, led by Damar Robin’s winning leap of 7 feet, 3 inches.
Notre Dame’s Matthew Birzer cleared 6-11 1/2 for sixth place.
Irish freshman Troy Pride, Jr., clocked 6.77 second to reach Saturday's final in the 60-meter dash.