Nov. 12, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 22 ranked Notre Dame men’s cross country team received an at-large berth to the 2007 NCAA Cross Country Championships announced today by the NCAA. The Irish finished third on Saturday at the Great Lakes Regional, just missing an automatic bid. Only eight points behind the top team finishers, Notre Dame sat in good position to receive an at-large berth.
Two Irish individuals, Patrick Smyth and Jake Watson, received automatic bids to compete at the national championship in one week, but they will now be joined by the rest of their teammates to make a run at the national title. This is the fourth consecutive year Notre Dame has made an appearance at the NCAA meet in the men’s team competition.
“Getting a berth to the NCAA meet means a great deal not only to the team, but also to the program,” says head coach Joe Piane “It continues of long string of Notre Dame NCAA appearances and success. From day one we talk about going to the NCAA meet and it’s nice to see the guys work and attain that goal.”
The team success comes a week after the sudden death of former Notre Dame runner Ryan Shay, the most decorated male athlete in Irish history. Piane remains impressed with his team’s tenacity in a time of grief.
“With what the guys went through last week, they really stepped up,” Piane says. “I was told many times that Smyth looked like (Ryan) Shay during the race and that was really neat to see.”
The 2007 NCAA Cross Country Championships will be hosted by Indiana State on Nov. 19 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. The men’s race kicks off the meet at noon (ET) with the women’s race to follow at 12:55 p.m.
Men’s Automatic Qualifying Teams
Alabama- South RegionArkansas- South Central RegionColorado- Mountain RegionFlorida State- South RegionGeorgetown- Mid-Atlantic RegionIona- Northeast RegionLouisville- Southeast RegionMichigan- Great Lakes RegionMinnesota- Midwest RegionNorth Carolina State- Southeast RegionOklahoma State- Midwest RegionOregon- West RegionPortland- West RegionProvidence- Northeast RegionTexas- South Central RegionUTEP- Mountain RegionVillanova- Mid RegionWisconsin- Great Lakes Region
Men’s At-Large Teams
Arizona StateBrigham YoungCaliforniaCal PolyIndianaIowa StateNorthern ArizonaNotre DameOhio StateStanfordTulsaVirginiaWilliam and Mary