Oct. 3, 2002
Heart of the cross country season begins this weekend with the Notre Dame Invitational:
The 2002 cross country season is in full swing, and the Notre Dame men’s and women’s team welcome a strong field for the Notre Dame Invitational this weekend at the Burke Memorial Golf Course on campus. Just a few hours before Notre Dame and Stanford meet on the football field, the Irish and Cardinal will duel on the cross country course. The Irish women enter the Notre Dame Invitational ranked third, while the Stanford women are second. On the men’s side, Stanford is #1, while Notre Dame is 23rd.
Number 25 Michigan and #30 Washington also are entered into the men’s race, while #18 Wisconsin and #27 Indiana will be in the women’s field.
Recent Notre Dame Invitational history:
The posted their second team victory in three years last season, led by then-freshman Lauren King in her first collegiate meet, who ended up first in her initial race for the Irish. The men also claimed a team victory in 2001, led by senior Luke Watson’s second-consecutive individual title. Stanford visited campus for the Notre Dame Invitational in 2000 and claimed the team title, and the Cardinal women won the team title as well that season.
Early season review:
Notre Dame took the previously scheduled Central Collegiate Championships off last weekend, looking ahead to its tough test this Friday. The women have won both meets they have entered this season (adidas Invitational, National Catholic Invitational) and have climbed to their highest-ever national ranking (third) this week.
The women have a number of highly talented runners that lead the pack. Returning All-American Lauren King finished second at the competitive adidas Invitational and looks poised to return to the All-America podium this season. Lauren King should factor in the top 10 at this weekend’s race, though she will not be the only Irish harrier among the race leaders. Senior Jen Handley has been one of the most consistent runners on the Irish roster for the last four years and is focused on taking the next step to All-America status. She finished sixth at the adidas Invitational earlier this season.
Junior Megan Johnson and classmate Katie Wales have also demonstrated the ability to win a cross country meet. Johnson finished eighth at the adidas Invitational and cruised to a sixth-place finish at the National Catholic two weeks ago. Wales was the top finisher for the Irish at the National Catholic (fourth) and ended up seventh at the adidas Invite. Wales missed her rookie season due to an injury and is finally returning to the form that head coach Tim Connelly was looking forward to.
A talented freshman class will be looking to make a splash for the Irish women this weekend. Freshmen Jean Marinangeli, Stephanie Madia and Lori King all finished in the top 10 at the National Catholic and provide Connelly with the deepest, most talented team he has ever fielded. Irish fans also are looking forward to the debut of highly-touted freshman Molly Huddle this weekend.
The men’s early season has been highlighted by the performance of its freshman class as well as is returning veterans.
There is no doubt that junior Todd Mobley has stepped up to lead the team after the graduation of three All-Americans. Mobley has led most of both races he entered this season (adidas Invitational, National Catholic) and has two individual titles to his credit. An All-American in 2001, Mobley has firmly established himself as Notre Dame’s leading contender on the course.
Freshman Tim Moore, who entered the program with high expectations, has lived up to those expectations so far in 2002. Moore has run practically side-by-side with Mobley in the two Irish meets this season, finishing second to his teammate in each race.
Senior John Keane also has stepped up to the challenge, finishing 15th in the adidas Invitational and fifth at the National Catholic. Keane is among a long list of runners who could develop into Notre Dame’s consistent third finisher, including (adidas Invitational, National Catholic finish) freshman Kaleb Van Ort (eighth, eighth), junior Brian Kerwin (22nd, sixth), junior David Alber (16th, seventh) and junior Kevin Somok (21st, 14th).
Notre Dame lineups for the 2002 Notre Dame Invitational (subject to change!!):
Susan Creary, Rachel Endress, Corrine Gabriel, Jackie Heap, Lori King, Margaret Martin, Keri McCarthy, Kerry Meagher, Ana Morales, Maggie Nelsen, Julia Schmidt, Muffy Schmidt, Emily Showman, Rashelle Simpson, Jenny Walls, Melissa Webb.
Rachel Endress, Jennifer Fibuch, Jen Handley, Molly Huddle, Megan Johnson, Lauren King, Lori King, Stephanie Madia, Jean Marinangeli, Julia Schmidt, Muffy Schmidt, Emily Showman, Katie Wales.
David Alber, Ryan Johnson, John Keane, Brian Kerwin, Tom Longo, Todd Mobley, Eric Morrison, Sean O’Donnell, Bucky Schaffer, Kevin Somok, Kaleb Van Ort, Austin Weaver, Tom Weiler.
Ryan Johnson, Brian Kerwin, Tom Longo, Eric Morrison, Sean O’Donnell, Bucky Schaffer, Kevin Somok, Austin Weaver, Tom Weiler.
Note: Some runners are listed more than once and it will be a race-day decision as to which race they enter.
How to find the Notre Dame Invitational meet:
All Notre Dame home cross country meets are run on the Burke Memorial Golf Course on the west side of campus. Parking is available in close proximity and visitors should enter at Dorr Road, land marked by the WNDU television stations and Holy Cross College (across the street from the Burke course). If traveling from the south, simply follow U.S. 933 north through downtown South Bend until you reach campus. From the north, east or west, take the Indiana Toll Road to the Notre Dame exit, head south and look for Dorr Road (third light after the toll road). Admission to all Notre Dame cross country/track and field events is free.