Oct. 4, 2002
In the final home cross country meet for the University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s teams, the weather changed three times and the Irish ended up third in both Blue Division races. The women, led by freshman Molly Huddle in fourth place, finished third behind #2 Stanford and #18 Wisconsin in the 24-team race. The Irish men took third behind #1 Stanford and #25 Michigan, as junior Todd Mobley finished third overall.
All the participating athletes had to deal with difficult weather conditions. During the Gold Division races (Hillsdale College won the men’s race, while Ohio State took first in the women’s race), it rained incessantly, with a wild wind storm hitting right when the women’s Gold Division race was finishing.
Just before the Blue Division race began for the women, the skies cleared and the sun started shining. Suddenly, the harriers on the course had to deal with muddy conditions and rising temperatures.
Huddle’s fourth-place effort for the women’s team comes in the freshman’s first collegiate race. She finished behind the Stanford trio of Sara Bei, Lauren Fleshman and Alicia Craig. All-American Lauren King was right behind the leaders in sixth place and senior Jennifer Handley ran well to take ninth.
The next Irish runner was Katie Wales in 24th, allowing Wisconsin to sneak into second place behind the Cardinal. The Badgers finished seventh, 12th, 14th, 15th and 19th (67 points), compared to fourth, sixth, ninth, 24th and 34th (77) for Notre Dame.
The men’s team ran well against the strong competition, putting their five scoring runners in the top 45. Mobley was impressive with his third-place finish, running side by side with Stanford’s Ryan Hall and Donald Sage for most of the race. Freshman Tim Moore continues to impress in his rookie season, finishing sixth in the field in 24:34. Senior John Keane was the next Irish runner across the line, finishing off a strong effort in 32nd. Eric Morrison (35th) and David Alber (42nd) rounded out the scoring runners for Notre Dame.
In the Gold Division races, Notre Dame finished second in the women’s field and third in the men’s. Freshman Sean O’Donnell was the top runner for the men in the gold race, taking fourth. The women were led by Ana Morales in eighth place.
Both Irish teams have two weeks to prepare for the Pre-National Meet in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 19, a good indicator of future positions and possibilities in the National Championship meet.