Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Cross Country Sends Two Ranked Teams To Pre-National Meet

Oct. 11, 2001

Complete Release in PDF Format, including both new national polls.
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Irish ready to test their mettle at Pre-National meet: With the newest national polls ranking the Notre Dame men’s team fifth and the women’s team 24th in the nation, both squads have high expectations heading into the Pre-National Meet this weekend, October 13. The Irish men and women are coming off impressive team and individual victories at last weekend’s Notre Dame Invitational.

The NCAA Pre-National Meet, slated to be run at the Furman Cross Country Course in Greenville, SC, will feature 37 teams in each race, including both the Notre Dame men’s and women’s teams. It is an opportunity for all the participating teams to run on the same course on which the NCAA Championship will be held on Nov. 19.

The Irish will be competing against their toughest competition of the year, as many of the top ranked teams in both polls will head to Greenville this weekend.

Both Notre Dame teams have reason to feel confident heading into the Pre National meet, as both the men and women are coming off strong showings in the Notre Dame Invitational last weekend.

Taking four of the top five spots in the Blue Race, one of three race categories in the Invitational, the men’s team took a decisive victory over the 18-team field. After resting most of the team’s top runners in the Central Collegiate Championships (Sept. 29), the Irish entered their top eight runners for only the second time in 2001.

Senior Luke Watson was first across the line, taking the individual title in 24:06. Watson was followed closely by classmate Ryan Shay, second in 24:25 with sophomore Todd Mobley by his side (24:25).

Rounding out the top five Irish finishers, senior Marc Striowski in fifth place (24:28) and senior Sean Zanderson completed the scoring for the Irish, taking 17th overall (24:59).

Sophomore David Alber was the Irish sixth man, finishing 38th in the 146-man field, and running seventh was junior John Keane, 53rd place in 25:37.

In the women’s race, the Irish were equally strong, as the top five Notre Dame runners finished in the top 25 of the 130 competitors. The team’s strong showing in this and previous meets obviously impressed coaches across the nation, who voted the Irish into the polls for the first time this season.

Freshman Lauren King took the overall individual title in her first in her collegiate race, pulling away in the last portion of the course to win by six seconds. Next across the finish line for the Irish was junior Jen Handley in third (17:28), and sophomore Megan Johnson claimed a top-10 finish, completing the course in 17:54 to earn 10th place.

Also scoring for the women were freshman Christi Arnerich, who continues to perform well in her debut season for the Irish, as she finished 20th (18:15), and junior Jennifer Fibuch, 24th across the line in 18:18.

With such a large number of competitors at the Invitational, a Gold Race was held to allow all participating teams the chance to run most of their roster.

In the Gold Race, the Irish men proved just as dominant and demonstrated the team’s great depth as the “B” team earned the victory. All five Irish scorers finished in the top 10, led by second place finisher Mario Bird.

Sophomore Brian Kerwin was next for the Irish, taking fourth in 25:12, followed by sophomore Kevin Somok and freshman Ryan Johnson, who crossed the line together in seventh and eighth place at 25:21 and 25:22, respectively. Eric Morrison was fifth for the men’s team with a 12th place finish.

In the women’s gold race, the Notre Dame runners performed well again, taking fourth out of the 14 competing teams.

The large race gave some of the younger Irish women the chance to run against a highly competitive field. Leading the Irish women was sophomore Rachel Engress, who took 13th, with classmate Megan Peterson next in 22nd.

Also contributing to the Irish Gold race team was junior Emily Showman in 29th, sophomore Katie Wales in 36th, Keri McCarthy in 50th, and 56th place finisher sophomore Emily Webb.

For this weekend’s Pre-National meet, the 37 women and men teams will be divided into four races. There will be two races each for male and female teams, and each will be balanced with the Irish women in the silver race while the men will compete in the gold race (complete fields of the races involving the Irish teams follow this note).

Information and results will be available on the internet at the Furman website:

The competition will prove to be fierce, as 18 of the top 25 will be represented, including the number 1 and 2 ranked Colorado and Stanford.

The same holds true of the women’s races, where 21 of the top 25 teams is scheduled to race.

Women’s Silver Race Field

Current national rankings in parenthesis

Baylor (25)

Boston College (6)



BYU (4)

UC-Santa Barbara

Colorado State (12)

Dartmouth (also receiving votes)

Florida State (also receiving votes)


Loyola (Chicago)

Marquette (19)

Miami (Ohio)

Minnesota (also receiving votes)


North Carolina State (3)

Northern Iowa

Notre Dame (24)






South Alabama

St. Francis (Pa.)

Stanford (2)


Texas Tech


Villanova (also receiving votes)

Virginia (15)

Wake Forest

Washington (16)

Washington State

Weber State

West Virginia

Western Kentucky

Yale (22)

Men’s Gold Race

Air Force (also receiving votes)

Appalachian State

Arizona (24)

Arizona State (15)

UC-Santa Barbara

Central Michigan



Colorado (1)




Duke (13)

Eastern Michigan (19)


Florida State (also receiving votes)

Georgia Tech

Indiana (also receiving votes)








North Carolina

UNC Asheville

Notre Dame (5)


St. Francis (Pa.)


Villanova (9)

Virginia Tech

Wake Forest (14)

Washington State

Weber State (20)

Western Kentucky