Nov. 21, 2011
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Notre Dame cross country teams concluded the 2011 season at the NCAA National Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday afternoon, with the Irish men taking 24th in the 10K race, while the women placed 22nd on the 6K course. Both races were held at the Lavern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.
The finish marked the highest for the men since 2008, when they placed 19th. The women Irish saw their highest showing since 2005, when they finished seventh.
In addition to facing the nation’s best runners, the Irish, along with the rest of the field, battled cold and sloppy conditions with temperatures touching the mid 40’s and a light mist coming down throughout the two races.
“We ran pretty well today as a whole,” said women’s head Tim Connelly. “We did a good job of finding each other and racing together. We weren’t far off from where I thought we would be at this race. Kelly (Curran) definitely ran her best race of the year. For the future, we have to work on getting for competitive if we want to get into the top group with the elite teams.”
The men’s team was paced by a trio of student-athletes that finished in the top 150. All-BIG EAST and all-region performer Jeremy Rae led the way, finishing 105th in 30:49.7. Fellow all-BIG EAST and all-region standout Martin Grady (30:52.6) finished five spots back in 110th place. Junior J.P. Malette took 146th in 31:10.2 to round out the top 150 for Notre Dame. Also factoring in the scoring for the Irish were all-region performer Jordan Carlson (178th, 31:30.4) and sophomore Walter Schafer (192nd, 31:40.4).
On the women’s side, all five scorers for Notre Dame finished in the top 150. Leading the way was sophomore Kelly Curran, who finished 114th in 21:09.8. Following closely behind were freshman Gabby Gonzales (128th, 21:14.8) and junior Jessica Rydberg (132nd, 21:16.1). Sophomore Alexa Aragon (141st, 21:19.0) and junior Rebecca Tracy (147th, 21:23.3) closed out the scoring for the Irish.
Highlights from the day will be included as part of the CBS NCAA Fall Seasonal Show scheduled to air on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. ET on CBS HD.
The meet marked the end of another successful cross country season. Just some of the highlights include:
– Both teams earned regional and national rankings throughout the season and finished in the top five at the Great Lakes Regionals on Nov. 12.
– Five Irish runners earned all-Region honors, while a pair of men’s runners in Grady and Rae earned all-BIG EAST accolades.
– Rydberg was named BIG EAST Runner of the Week after winning the National Catholic Championships on Sept. 16.
– Both teams won the National Catholic Championships.
The Irish distance runners will now turn their attention to the indoor track and field season, which gets underway in just a few short weeks with the Blue & Gold Meet on Dec. 2.
Men’s 10K Team Results (Out Of 31 Teams)
1. Wisconsin 97 Points
2. Oklahoma State 139 Points
3. Colorado 144 Points
4. BYU 203 Points
5. Stanford 207 Points
24. Notre Dame 575 Points
Men’s 10K Individual Results (Out Of 255 Runners)
105. Jeremy Rae 30:49.7
110. Martin Grady 30:52.6
146. J.P. Malette 31:10.2
178. Jordan Carlson 31:30.4
192. Walter Schafer 31:40.4
194. Kelly Lynch 31:42.9
231. Joe Miller 32:16.8
Women’s 6K Team Results (Out Of 31 Teams)
1. Georgetown 162 Points
2. Washington 170 Points
3. Villanova 181 Points
4. Florida State 189 Points
5. Oregon 281 Points
22. Notre Dame 512 Points
Women’s 6K Individual Results (Out Of 254 Runners)
114. Kelly Curran 21:09.8
128. Gabby Gonzales 21:14.8
132. Jessica Rydberg 21:16.1
141. Alexa Aragon 21:19.0
147. Rebecca Tracy 21:23.3
181. Rachel Velarde 21:40.9
237. McKinzie Schulz 22:26.9