Nov. 10, 1999

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s and women’s cross country teams will look to qualify for the NCAA championships this Saturday, Nov. 13 at the NCAA District IV championships. The meet will be held at Indiana State’s Bird-Gibson Recreation Facility in Terre Haute, Ind., with the men’s 10K race beginning at 11 a.m. EST and the women’s 5K race starting at 12 p.m. EST.

The top two teams in the men’s and women’s races will receive automatic bids to the 1999 NCAA championships which will be held in Bloomington, Ind., on Monday, Nov. 22.

The eighth-ranked men’s team is coming off a win at the BIG EAST championships October 29 in Bronx, N.Y. Junior Ryan Shay (Central Lake, Mich.) became the first Notre Dame runner to win the BIG EAST individual race since the Irish started BIG EAST competition in 1995 .

Men’s head coach Joe Piane, in his 25th season, also was named BIG EAST coach-of-the-year for the second time in his career. His team finished eighth at the district meet a year ago, breaking a string of eight consecutive top-four finishes, and failing to qualify for the NCAA meet for the first time in seven years. The men have won the District IV championship three times, most recently in 1996.

The women’s team finished fifth at the BIG EAST meet, led by senior Alison Klemmer (Troy, Mich.), who finished fourth, and freshman Jennifer Handley (Barrie, Ont.), who placed 12th. The women will try to improve on their fourth-place finish a year ago at the districts. The highest women’s team finish at the district meet was second in 1993, the same year they earned their first team invitation to the NCAA championships.

NOTRE DAME BIG EAST WOMEN’S TEAM: Alison Klemmer (22nd), Jennifer Handley, Patty Rice (27th), Erin Luby (60th), Nicole LaSelle, Chrissy Kuenster and Erin Olson (38th).

NOTRE DAME BIG EAST MEN’S TEAM: Ryan Shay (10th), Luke Watson (31st), Marc Striowski (64th), Ryan Maxwell (53rd), Sean McManus (96th), John Dudley, Mike Griewe and Antonio Lopez as an alternate.

( ) – finish at 1998 District IV Championships