Jacqueline Gaughan has checked off a key box in her recruiting process.
The senior from Exeter (NH) High, who owns a U.S. No. 2 in the 5K, committed to the University of Notre Dame over the weekend.
Gaughan, an 11th-place finisher at Foot Locker Nationals in 2016, has dominated state and New England competition over the last several seasons, earning two New Hampshire division championships, a New Hampshire Meet of Champions title, and an New England Championship.
Gaughan, ranked No. 15 in the Flo50 national rankings, ran a top time of 16:48.29 at the Brown Northeast Invitational on October 14 and has important meets left in her calendar before potentially another national qualifying bid in December to Foot Locker.
Gaughan's talent also extends to the track as well, with a PB of 4:53.63 in the 1600m and a top mark of 10:05.71 in the 3200m. Gaughan was 11th this past spring in the Brooks PR 2-mile run.
She holds marks of 4:39.77/4:52.60/9:43.97 in the 1500m, 1-mile, and 3000m over the indoor season as well.
Gaughan will join an Irish program that was 11th at the NCAA cross country championships in 2016 and eighth in 2015. The Irish locked down another big recruit recently with the addition of men's distance runner Zach Kreft of Buckeye Valley (OH). She'll be coached by Matt Sparks, the Fighting Irish's associate head coach who's been leading the women's program since 2014.