Sept. 26, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame has announced the complete field of entrants for the 50th annual Notre Dame Cross Country Invitational, to be held Friday afternoon at the on-campus Notre Dame Golf Course. The meet will consist of five races, beginning with the women’s Gold Division race at 2 p.m. (EST/CDT), followed by the men’s Gold Division contest at 2:45 p.m. and an Open race at 3:30 p.m. The women’s Blue Division event is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. and the men’s Blue Division race will start at 5 p.m. to conclude the day’s activities. All women’s races will be 5K in length, while the men’s races will be five miles long.
A total of 58 schools will be sending either or both of their men’s and women’s teams to the Notre Dame Invitational. Among those squads set to participate in Friday’s Blue Division races are 16 teams that are ranked in the top 30 of either the Mondo/USCCCA men’s poll, or the FinishLynx/WICCCA women’s poll. The marquee teams in the men’s race will be top-ranked Wisconsin, No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 8 Arizona, while on the women’s side, third-ranked Notre Dame, No. 5 Michigan, No. 10 Arkansas and No. 12 Wake Forest will be the teams to watch. Three schools will send nationally-ranked men’s and women’s squads to the Notre Dame Invitational — Notre Dame (#3 women/#6 men), Michigan (#5 women/#22 men) and Butler (#18 women/#17 men). Besides the 16 ranked teams, another eight are receiving votes in one of the two polls this week, meaning that approximately half of the fields in both the 25-team men’s and 24-team women’s Blue Division races are receiving national consideration this week.
Stanford won both the men’s and women’s Blue Division races last year, but the Cardinal is not sending either squad back to defend its title this season. Prior Notre Dame Invitational winners who will be participating in Friday’s Blue Division races include: Notre Dame men (15 titles; last in 2003), Michigan men (eight titles; last in 1999-shared), Wisconsin men (two titles; last in 1976), Notre Dame women (six titles; last in 2003), Michigan women (one title in 1992) and Wake Forest women (one title in 1995). In addition, the Edinboro men (1985) and the Ohio University women (1988-89) won Blue Division crowns, but both will run in the Gold Division this year.
Those Gold Division races will feature a mix of schools from NCAA Divisions I, II and III, including three BIG EAST Conference members in the women’s race (Cincinnati, Louisville and West Virginia). Cincinnati and Louisville will see their men’s teams compete in the Blue Division.
The Notre Dame Invitational is one of the nation’s oldest and largest intercollegiate cross country meets. It was started in 1956 by legendary former Irish head coach (and Canadian Track Hall of Famer) Alex Wilson and has been run continuously ever since. The men’s races originally began as four-mile events before being extended to five miles in 1968, and women’s races began in 1987.
A complete printable list of the entrants for the Notre Dame Invitational is linked in a PDF file at the top of this release.
Admission is free to all races at the Notre Dame Invitational. Final results from the meet will be posted shortly after the conclusion of the day’s races on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.und.com).
— ND —