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Cross Country Men Run Away With National Catholic Title; Women Finish Strong In Second Place

Sept. 21, 2001

Results?|? Photo Gallery

The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s cross country teams began their first of two home meets with the 22nd running of the National Catholic Invitational on the Notre Dame Golf Course Friday afternoon. The fifth-ranked men’s team dominated its respective race, placing all eight runners in the top 16 (the team posted a total of 19 points) to earn the team title. The women’s team, bolstered by two top-five finishes, was just edged out by 15th-ranked Marquette 37-46.

It was the first meet this season that the men’s team ran at full strength (in its victory at Valparaiso, two of its top runners did not compete) and the Irish strength and experience was evident early. Seniors Ryan Shay (Central Lake, Mich.) and Luke Watson (Stillwater, Minn.), along with sophomore Todd Mobley (West Bloomfield, Mich.), ran together for the entire race and finished first, second and third, respectively. With his individual victory, Shay becomes the first harrier to win four National Catholic titles (the event began in 1980). Watson was the 2000 National Catholic champion.

Close behind the top Irish trio was senior Marc Striowski (Toronto, Ontario) in fifth place. All-American Pat Conway (Springfield, Va.) was right behind his classmate in eighth place.

In the women’s race, junior Jen Handley (Barrie, Ontario) kept the Notre Dame National Catholic individual title win streak alive, taking first place in 17:31. An Irish runner has now captured the last six National Catholic individual titles.

Sophomore Megan Johnson (Seattle, Wa.) ran very well in her first meet of the season, finishing third in 17:38.

Notre Dame would get edged out in the team competition, however, as Marquette would place four runners in the top 10.

National Catholic Results:

Men’s team competition:

1. Notre Dame, 19 pts.

2. Marquette, 80 pts.

3. St. Thomas, 103 pts.

4. DePaul, 150 pts.

5. Siena Heights, 164 pts.

6. Dayton, 250 pts.

7. Aquinas, 261 pts.

8. Holy Cross, 277 pts.

9. Loras, 295 pts.

10. Canisius, 310 pts.

Men’s Individual Results:

1. Ryan Shay, Notre Dame, 24:03

2. Luke Watson, Notre Dame, 24:03

3. Todd Mobley, Notre Dame, 24:15

4. Joe Herington, Marquette, 24:46

5. Marc Striowski, Notre Dame, 24:47

6. Chris Birchall, DePaul, 25:08

7. Chris McPhee, Detroit-Mercy, 25:10

8. Pat Conway, Notre Dame, 25:10

9. Marcus Murphy, Loras, 25:12

10. Luke Kunze, Marquette, 25:24

Women’s Team Competition

1. Marquette, 37 pts.

2. Notre Dame, 46 pts.

3. Xavier, 140 pts.

4. Dayton, 161 pts.

5. DePaul, 170 pts.

6. Holy Cross, 183 pts.

7. Bellarmine, 205 pts.

8. St. Benedict, 252 pts.

9. Loras, 253 pts.

10. Canisius, 301 pts.

Women’s Individual Results:

1. Jen Handley, Notre Dame, 17:31

2. Brianna Dahm, Marquette, 17:36

3. Megan Johnson, Notre Dame, 17:38

4. Bethany Harry, Marquette, 17:38

5. Kerry Hils, Xavier, 17:43

6. Jennifer Scheerer, Bellarmine, 17:58

7. Jessie Swan, Marquette, 18:04

8. Kim Hemstreet, Detroit-Mercy, 18:11

9. Susan Barth, Marquette, 18:13

10. Ruthie Cook, Detroit-Mercy, 18:17