Two national titles in one weekend for Notre Dame's Molly Seidel

Tim Creason
Tribune Correspondent

So, what does Molly Seidel do for an encore?

Well, there's always the Olympics. Stay tuned.

The Notre Dame senior claimed her fourth consecutive NCAA title Saturday, winning the women's 3,000-meter run at the collegiate indoor track & field championships in Birmingham, Ala.

Employing the same grind-it-out tactics that she used to win the 5,000-meter championship on Friday, Seidel steadily pulled away from the field to finish first in 8:57.86.

And, just as in Friday's 5,000, the second place finisher was Michigan's Erin Finn, who clocked 9:04.40.

Notre Dame freshman Anna Rohrer was scheduled to compete in the 3,000, but withdrew prior to the start of the race. The former Mishawaka High School standout finished fourth in the 5,000 a day earlier.

Seidel has now won four NCAA titles in four tries, adding Saturday's crown to the outdoor 10K she won last June, the cross country championship she won in November, and the indoor 5K.

She has already qualified for the US Olympic Trials, to be held in Eugene, Ore. the first week of July.

Notre Dame's women finished fifth in the final team standings Saturday, scoring 35 points. Oregon won the women's title with 53.

The Ducks also took home the men's championship with 62 points.

Notre Dame senior Kaila Barber finished sixth in the women's 60-meter hurdles, clocking 8.07 seconds. Purdue's Devynne Charlton was third.

In the 400-meter dash, Irish senior Margaret Bamgbose finished fifth, clocking 52.12 in the finale.

NCAA champion Molly Seidel of Notre Dame (right) guides freshman Anna Rohrer (left) around a turn during the women's 3,000-meter run at the Notre Dame Invitational in January. (Tribune Photo/TIM CREASON)