Sept. 27, 2001

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Central Collegiates Preview:

The Irish will use the Central Collegiate Championships this weekend to give their top runners a rest, while the other harriers on the roster get a chance to move into the top eight on the team going into the championship meet season.

The Central Collegiates, hosted by Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich., will feature the Notre Dame men’s “B” team, as the top six runners on the nationally fourth ranked team will take the weekend off. All-Americans Ryan Shay and Luke Watson, who combined with sophomore Todd Mobley to take the first three spots in last weekend’s National Catholic Invitational and lead the team to an overall victory, will rest this weekend, as will other top runners seniors Pat Conway and Marc Striowski, and sophomores David Alber and Brian Kerwin.

Resting these top runners will allow some of the more inexperienced Irish to test their legs in a varsity race, and will help the team solidify the important seventh and eighth man spots.

Sophomore Brian Kerwin, who has run with the varsity team for both of this year’s races and placed 11th in last weekend’s National Catholic Championships, will be expected to lead the Irish, as will sophomore Mario Bird, who placed 16th last weekend.

Other Irish runners, such as freshman Sean O’Donnell, who was the runner up in last weekend’s junior varsity race, and Tom Weiler, fifth in the same race, are possible contenders for these seven and eight man spots.

For the Irish women, this weekend’s meet will likewise provide a chance for some top runners to rest and others to take on the varsity spots.

Coming off of a successful National Collegiate Championships last weekend, placing second of second of 26 teams, the women look to gain experience and strength this weekend for the Notre Dame Invitational the following week.

Junior Jen Handley, who finished first last weekend, along with sophomore Megan Johnson, third at the National Catholic Championships, and freshman Kristi Arnerich, who has placed well for the Irish in both of this season’s meets, continue to lead the Irish, and look to improve upon the team’s already strong meet showings.