Anna Rohrer

Irish Men and Women Sweep Team Titles at National Catholic Championships

Sept. 18, 2015

2015 National Catholic Championships – Complete Results Get Acrobat Reader

Photo Gallery

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – On an afternoon in which inclement weather was in the forecast, the Notre Dame cross country contingent stormed through its competition Friday at the 36th-edition of the National Catholic Championships, rising atop both the men’s and women’s team standings.

In all, the Irish men tallied a final score of 40 and the women earned a 20 behind a strong showing from the underclassmen. To headline the event, freshman standout Anna Rohrer claimed her first collegiate victory, while a pair of sophomores – Kevin Pulliam and Calvin Kraft – rose to the occasion in the men’s championship race.

“You could tell the freshmen were nervous,” Notre Dame associate head coach Matt Sparks said. “You get the familiarity of the home course, but you also want to put on a good show.

“It was a good step for some of the younger guys. We knew coming into it that we had to count on some younger guys. Tim Ball and Mike Clevenger, we knew they were going to be good leaders. They got out aggressive. They looked confident. We just need to work on fitness, taking steps forward for two weeks from now.”

Timothy Ball, a senior this season, led the way individually for the Irish men with a third-place finish in the men’s 8k championship race. Ball registered a time of 25:09.2 and was joined in the Top 5 by classmate Michael Clevenger (fifth; 25:10.9).

On the women’s side, spectators received a glimpse into the promise of the nation’s top freshmen class, as ranked by both FloTrack and Rohrer headlined the Irish’s efforts with a time of 17:20.7 for the win in the 5k championship race. Freshmen Annie Heffernan and Rachel DaDamio followed in third (17:33.9) and fifth (17:43.4), respectively.

“We would have liked to see a little stronger group together,” Sparks said. “From a point total, we won pretty convincingly and it was a lot freshmen, so I can’t be disappointed. I would have liked to see some of those girls run with some more confidence. We knew Anna was strong and was going to put on a good show today, but we need to get some of the other girls a bit closer to her.

“This race will give them peace of mind that they’ve got that first college race out of the way, with that comes confidence.”

The Irish littered the Top 10 in both the men’s and women’s championships. Along with Ball and Clevenger, Kraft (sixth; 25:14.4) and Pulliam (eighth; 25:16.3) were among the top competitors. Seniors Karen Lesiewicz and Sydney Foreman finished back-to-back in the women’s race, dropping times of 17:46.0 and 17:50.2 for seventh and eighth, respectively.

In the JV/Open race, freshman Ella Fennelly was the top women’s finisher (19:05.8).

The Irish will have a week off from competition before hosting the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational, Oct. 2 at the Notre Dame Golf Course.

For an inside look into the Notre Dame Cross Country/Track and Field program, follow the Fighting Irish onTwitter,Facebook and Instagram.

Team Results:
Men – Division I (Top 5)
1. Notre Dame – 40
2. Canisius – 41
3. Loyola (Ill.) – 99
4. Duquesne – 121
5. Dayton – 128

Men – Non-Division I (Top 5)
1. Loras – 39
2. Bellamine – 76
3. Walsh – 79
4. Aquinas – 103
5. Lewis – 141

Women – Division I (Top 5)
1. Notre Dame – 20
2. Xavier (Ohio) – 84
3. Loyola (Ill.) – 102
4. Saint Louis – 104
5. Duquesne – 114
5. Marquette – 114

Women- Non-Division I (Top 5)
1. Bellarmine – 56
2. Aquinas – 68
3. Lewis – 91
4. St.Thomas (Minn.) – 110
5. St. Benedict – 163

Top Notre Dame Finishers:
Men – Championship (8k)
3. Timothy Ball (25:09.2)
5. Michael Clevenger (25:10.9)
6. Calvin Kraft (25:14.4)
8. Kevin Pulliam (25:16.3)
30. Chris Marco (25:55.1)
54. Billy Dolan (26.16.5)
59. Aaron Roe (26:21.4)
116. John Flannery (27:14.3)

Women – JV/Open (5k)
1. Ella Fennelly (19:05.8)
2. Kelly Hart (19:18.5)
3. Lourdes Brea (19:55.0)

Women -Championship (5k)
1. Anna Rohrer (17:20.7)
3. Annie Heffernan (17:33.9)
5. Rachel DaDamio (17:43.4)
7. Karen Lesiewicz (17:46.0)
8. Sydney Foreman (17:50.2)
56. Toni Finnane (18.59.4)
62. Kaitlin Frei (19:01.9)
70. Elli Brady (19:07.7)

– Ashley Albertson, Athletics Communications Assistant Director