Nov. 14, 1998

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s and women’s cross country teams competed this past Saturday at the Great Lakes Region District IV meet and performed well against tough competition. The women finished with 137 points, just four points behind third-place Bowling Green’s 133 points. Fifth-ranked Wisconsin and sixth-ranked Michigan claimed the district’s two automatic bids as they finished one-two. Junior JoAnna Deeter (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) led the women to their fourth-place finish as she finished second overall in the meet with a time of 17:13.18. Deeter’s finish automatically qualifies her for the NCAA Championships on November 23 in Lawrence, Kan., where she finished third as a freshman.

On the men’s side, the Irish finished eighth with 192 points as 10th-ranked Michigan State and sixth-ranked Michigan earned the district’s two automatic bids with their respective first and second-place finishes. Sophomore Ryan Shay (Central Lake, Mich.) led the Irish with a 10th-place finish as he ran to a time of 31:20.56. Depending on what other schools in District IV receive bids, Shay may also earn a spot at the NCAA Championships.

On the women’s side, Notre Dame’s fourth-place finish was their highest since 1994 as the Irish placed five runners in the top 50. Junior Alison Klemmer (Troy, Mich.) finished strong as she was the second Irish runner to cross the finish line and placed 22nd with a time of 18:12.61. Junior Patti Rice (Mishawaka, Ind.) was not far behind as she finished 27th with a time of 18:24.10. Sophomore Erin Olson (Eden Prarie, Minn.) ran a fine race as she finished 38th with a time of 18:35.60, and Bridget O’Brien (Bloomington, Minn.) rounded out the top five for the Irish as she placed 48th with a time of 18:46.32.

The men’s eighth-place finish was their lowest finish at the District IV meet since 1986 when they finished 15th. Freshman Luke Watson (Stillwater, Minn.) ran well as he finished 31st with a time of 32:12.19 at his first district meet. Senior Antonio Arce (Palmdale, Calif.) was the third Irish runner to cross the finish line as he placed 50th with a time of 32:36.94. Running in his final district meet, senior Ryan Maxwell (Staten Island, N.Y.) was 53rd with a time of 32:41.98, while Tim Engelhardt (East Syracuse, N.Y.) placed 54th with a time of 32:44.12.

Because neither the Irish men or women finished in the top two places in the district meet, they will not receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. But the fourth-place finish by the women’s cross country team places them in excellent position to receive one of the 13 at-large bids to the NCAA Championships. For the men’s cross country team though, its eighth-place finish hurts their chances of receiving an invitation to the championships.