Oct. 16, 2002
Asics/Pacesetter Pre National Meet scheduled for Saturday:
The championship season for cross country teams across the nation has begun and many of the top squads will be making the trip to Terre Haute, Ind., for the Asics/Pacesetter Pre National Meet on Saturday, Oct. 19.
The Pre National meet is run each season at the future site of the national championship, allowing cross country teams to preview the course and gauge their development against other top teams in contention for berths in the NCAA Championship.
Though it is not always the case, a team and an individuals performance in the Pre National meet is a good indicator of their future finish at the NCAA Championship. It also gives possible at-large selections for the championship field (the top two teams from each region receives automatic spots in the field) a bargaining chip when the selections begin for the national meet.
In last year’s Pre National meet, future All-Americans Todd Mobley and Luke Watson earned their stripes with 14th and fourth place finishes, respectively. Mobley eventually finished 38th at the NCAA Championship while Watson came in fifth. On the women’s side, Lauren King ended up 15th at the 2001 Pre National meet and took 27th at the NCAA meet.
Both Irish teams will face well-respected fields this weekend:
The Notre Dame men’s team enters the Pre National meet ranked 24th in the country, while the women are currently 13th (and have been ranked as high as third). Those rankings will be put on the line Saturday afternoon against several teams that find themselves in both the MONDO (men’s) and FinishLynx (women’s) top 30. The women will be running in the White Division Race at 11:35 a.m. on Saturday, along with #2 Stanford, #3 Michigan State, #6 NC State, #8 Arizona State, #12 Columbia, #16 Virginia, #17 UCLA, #21 Northern Arizona, #22 Penn State, #23 Marquette, #26 Wake Forest and #29 Dartmouth.
A number of Great Lakes Regional teams will be in the White Division field as well, giving the Irish an opportunity to run against the teams they will face on Nov. 16 at the Great Lakes Regional in West Lafayette, Ind.. Butler, Marquette, Michigan State, Ohio, Purdue and Toledo will be running against Notre Dame on Saturday.
The men’s team will face an ultra-competitive field featuring #1 Stanford, #10 BYU, #14 North Carolina State, #17 Indiana, #20 Butler, #22 Arizona State, #27 Dartmouth and #28 New Mexico. The Great Lakes region teams in the men’s Blue Division race, which the Irish will run at 12:10 p.m. on Saturday are; Butler, Indiana, Indiana State, Kent State, Miami-Ohio, Purdue and Youngstown State.
The goals for both Irish teams are simple this weekend – knock off as many ranked teams as possible and finish ahead of your regional opponents.
Notre Dame lineups this weekend:
Both teams are allowed to enter seven runners in their races, while the rest of the traveling party can compete in the open races (1:30 p.m. for the women, 2:05 p.m. for the men).
Notre Dame cross country team traveling party (top finishes):
David Alber – 16th, adidas Invite; seventh, National Catholic, 43rd, ND Invite
Ryan Johnson – 36th, adidas Invite; second, National Catholic JV ; sixth, ND Invite Gold Division
John Keane – 15th, adidas Invite; fifth, National Catholic; 33rd, ND Invite
Brian Kerwin – 22nd, adidas Invite; sixth, National Catholic; 53rd, ND Invite
Todd Mobley – first, adidas Invite; first, National Catholic, third, ND Invite
Tim Moore – second, adidas Invite; second, National Catholic, sixth, ND Invite
Eric Morrison – first, National Catholic JV; 36th, ND Invite
Sean O’Donnell – 30th, adidas Invite; fourth, National Catholic JV; fourth, ND Invite Gold Division
Kevin Somok – 21st, adidas Invite; 14th, National Catholic, seventh, ND Invite Gold Division
Kaleb Van Ort – eighth, adidas Invite; eighth, National Catholic; 84th, ND Invite
Austin Weaver – 34th, adidas Invite; sixth, National Catholic JV; 84th, Notre Dame Invite
Rachel Endress – 22nd, adidas Invite; 10th, National Catholic; sixth, Bronco Open
Jennifer Fibuch – ninth, adidas Invite; 39th, ND Invite
Jennifer Handley – sixth, adidas Invite; ninth, ND Invite
Molly Huddle – fourth, ND Invite
Megan Johnson – eighth, adidas Invite; ninth, ND Invite
Lauren King – second, adidas Invite; sixth, ND Invite
Lori King – ninth, National Catholic; 37th, ND Invite
Stephanie Madia – fifth, National Catholic; 34th, ND Invite
Jean Marinangeli – seventh, National Catholic
Ana Morales – eighth, ND Invite Gold Division; second, Bronco Open
Muffy Schmidt – 24th, adidas Invite; 16th, National Catholic; 12th, ND Invite Gold Division; ninth, Bronco Open
Katie Wales – seventh, adidas Invitational; fourth, National Catholic; 24th, ND Invite
Brief recap of the season for both teams:
The Irish women entered the season with their highest expectations since the program began, and early season success at the adidas Invitational propelled the team to the #3 ranking in the country.
Lauren King and Jennifer Handley carried the team through the early meets. Lauren King crossed the finish line second at the adidas Invitational to spearhead the team victory, while Handley was right behind her in ninth.
The women received a shot in the arm at the Notre Dame Invitational, as freshman Molly Huddle ran with the leaders of the race the whole way to finish fourth. Notre Dame’s fifth and sixth runners, however, did not run well at the ND Invite and will need to step up at the Pre National meet this weekend.
The men’s team has been led from start to finish by junior Todd Mobley. Mobley has been dependable in every race this season, finishing first, first and second in the three meets he has entered. Challenged to fill in for the loss of three All-Americans to graduation, Mobley has been at his best in 2002.
Freshman Tim Moore entered the program with high expectations and has lived up to the hype so far this fall. The rookie from Novi, Mich., finished second behind Mobley at the adidas Invitational and National Catholic and ran to a solid sixth-place effort at the ND Invite.
Senior John Keane has been running strong this year as well, finishing 33rd at the ND Invite and 15th at the adidas Invite.