NATIONAL CHAMPIONS! ACC Claims Two NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Titles on Thursday

Notre Dame’s Seidel, Virginia Tech’s Sediva finish strong to win national crowns

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Atlantic Coast Conference Track and Field fans who stayed up late were rewarded Thursday evening.

Two of the league’s elite women student-athletes struck gold just minutes apart near the end of day two’s competition at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, as Notre Dame’s Molly Seidel prevailed in the 10,000 meters and Virginia Tech’s Irena Sediva claimed the javelin with an ACC-record throw.

At the conclusion of a session that saw a number other ACC competitors earn All-America honors or move on to finals in other events, Seidel and Sediva each saved their best for last. Seidel used a strong kick on the final 2 ½ laps to pull away from the field in the 10,000 meters in a winning time of 33.18.37.  Sediva’s throw of 192-9 (58.76 meters) came on her final attempt of the evening and lifted her from second place to the top spot on the podium.

The Hokies’ Sediva, a sophomore from Pribram, Czech Republic, bettered her own ACC record of 192-05 (58.66 meters), which she set last month at the ACC Championships in Tallahassee, Florida. Her NCAA win marks the 15th time in Virginia Tech history that a member of the Hokie track and field team has claimed an individual national championship. Sediva is the third female in program history and the seventh Virginia Tech track and field athlete overall to win a national title.

Notre Dame’s Seidel, a junior from Hartland, Wisconsin, became the first member of the Fighting Irish’s women’s track and field program to claim an NCAA gold medal. Her late kick on Thursday night placed her nearly seven seconds ahead of the next nearest finisher at Hayward Field, and her winning time was a full 20 seconds ahead of the NCAA-leading qualifying time of 33:38.38 she posted two weeks ago at the NCAA East Preliminary in Jacksonville, Florida.

Seidel and Sediva claimed the 13th and 14th NCAA individual titles by ACC student-athletes during the 2014-15 academic year, and the third  in track and field. Clemson’s Natoya Goule took the gold medal in the women’s 800 meters at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships on March 14 at Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Goule remains in the mix as the Outdoor Championships continue Friday and Saturday, along with premier runners such as Miami’s Shakima Wimbley, Florida State’s Kala Funderburk and Virginia Tech’s Hanna Green. Clemson’s Tevin Hester, Florida State’s Kendal Williams and other talented contenders are among the men’s qualifiers. Seidel and Sediva may soon have some company.