NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Irish men’s and women’s cross country teams continued their strong start to the season at the 2018 National Catholic Invite. Annie Heffernan’s third-straight victory in the National Catholic Invitational powered the women’s team to a total of 18 points for their 12th-consecutive team win at the event. On the men’s side, Anthony Williams, Kevin Salvano, and Yared Nuguse claimed spots in the top five to lead the Irish to a victory.
“I was especially excited today to see the confidence with which both the men and women raced,” Head Coach Matt Sparks said of the victories. “The men have struggled in this meet recently but this is a new year. Anthony Williams ran like the senior leader he is. Annie Heffernan is now the three-time National Catholic champion. She did a great job pulling freshmen Jackie Gaughan and Elena Denner through the course and helping us have a near perfect score.”
In the women’s race, Heffernan outkicked her teammate Jacqueline Gaughan for a time of 17:24, while Gaughan finished in a time of 17:27. The women rounded out the top four spots with Denner and Rachel DaDamio, who ran 17:28 and 17:38, respectively. All of the female Irish runners finished in the top 10.
“I am very proud of our Irish women today,” Assistant Coach Kendra Foley said. “Erin Sullivan and Sydney Foreman gave us a great start in the open race. This is Sydney’s first race since indoor of 2016 due to injury so having her back and healthy was great to see!
“Our squad ran deep in the women’s varsity race and that’s exactly what we were hoping for. Annie Heffernan coming out with her third title, and being followed by two freshmen and senior Rachel Dadamio is a great start to our season. We have a lot of depth this year with a lot of spirit!”
Williams’ second place finish in 24:47 set the tone for the men, followed by Salvano (24:56), Nuguse (25:02), Andrew Alexander (25:05), and Tyler Keslin (25:15). The five scoring Irish runners finished in the top 10, and all of the runners finished in the top 20.
“Our men’s team ran really well today and showed some great depth,” Assistant Coach Sean Carlson said of the victory. “Even with a few guys sick, others stepped up and got the job done. They are becoming the team that we have talked about for a year now.”
Women’s 5K Finishing Times
- Annie Heffernan, 17:24.47 (1st)
- Jacqueline Gaughan, 17:27.27 (2nd)
- Elena Denner, 17:28.54 (3rd)
- Rachel DaDamio, 17:38.63 (4th)
- AnnaSophia Keller, 17:58.47 (8th)
- Kelli Reagan, 18:05.12 (11th)
- Claudia Magnussen, 18:11.11 (12th)
- Erin Sullivan, 18:13.28 (1st in Open)
- Sydney Foreman, 18:15.22 (2nd in Open)
- KatieRose Blachowicz, 18:20.94 (17th in Championship)
- Anna Fischer, 18:34.98 (23rd)
- MaryClare Leonard, 18:43.78 (4th)
- Brooke Trossen, 18:47.81 (5th in Open)
- Olivia Niziolek, 19:06.49 (6th)
- Madison Ronzone, 19:25.39 (7th)
- Kelly Koehnen, 19:37.12 (8th)
- Madelyn Vanblunk, 20:11.01 (11th)
Men’s 5K Finishing Times
- Anthony Williams, 24:47.74 (2nd)
- Kevin Salvano, 24:56.53 (3rd)
- Yared Nuguse, 25:02.40 (4th)
- Andrew Alexander, 25:05.29 (6th)
- Tyler Keslin, 25:15.98 (10th)
- Zach Kreft, 25:19.82 (11th)
- Brian Griffith, 25:25.77 (12th)
- Dustin Macuiba, 25:35.01 (15th)
- Vincent Zona, 25:41.54 (20th)
- Kyle Fulk, 26:19.37
- Parker Jones, 26:41.60
Up Next for the Irish
The Irish will wrap their home slate of competition as they host the annual Joe Piane Invitational on Friday, September 28. The first of six races will toe off at 1 p.m. ET and will be held at Burke Golf Course.