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Irish Set The Tone in National Catholic

Sept. 16, 2016

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National Catholic Women’s Resu Get Acrobat Reader

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By Megan Golden

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — On a hot and humid September day, the University of Notre Dame women’s and men’s cross country teams continued their success in the 37th annual National Catholic, taking first and second place at Burke Golf Course.

The Irish women crossed the finish line in first place (31 points) ahead of Marquette (second, 73) and Dayton (third, 96). The men came in second place (67 points), just points behind Saint Louis University (52 points).

Notre Dame pushed through the humidity, relying heavily on its senior leadership to set the pace. Freshman Tyler Keslin (26:03.6) rose to the occasion in his college debut, putting on a show for associate head coach Matt Sparks and teammates.

Co-Runners of the Meet

Irish sophomore Annie Heffernan (17:22.1) placed first in the women’s championship 5K, followed by teammate and graduate student Danielle Aragon (17:24.3). The duo completed the race just ahead of third- and fourth-place finishers, Marquette’s Kellie Greenwood and Brittney Feivor.

Honorable mention goes to Irish sophomore Anthony Williams (25:11.8), third-place finisher for the men, and junior Sydney Foreman (17:57.5), who finished in sixth place.

Note of the Meet

The Irish women finished in first for the 22nd time in the history of the National Catholic. Led by Heffernan and Aragon, Notre Dame’s women’s squad has now won 18 consecutive team championships and 15 straight individual championships in the meet’s history.

First Time For Everything

Freshman Tyler Keslin made his college debut in the five-mile race. Keslin joined fellow freshman Kevin Salvano, who debuted in the Crusader Open (September 2), as the only freshmen to compete in a varsity race this season.

Associate Head Coach Matt Sparks Says…

On his overall reaction to the team’s performance…
“Annie and Dani both were injured at the end of outdoor track, so you never know what to expect when their last significant race was March. And they did a good job of taking care of themselves over the summer, gaining fitness, getting healthy. I feel like we’re in a good place on the women’s side.”

On the men’s team’s overall performance…
“On the men’s side, it was great to see our sophomore, Tony Williams, lead the way for us. He had a great summer of training and stayed healthy. Right now, our men’s team is getting healthy but we just need to get more confident in who we are. We got lost in the shuffle in the race and couldn’t recover.”

On Dani Aragon’s comeback from injury…
“She’s been very patient. It would be very common to be excited to be back in the mix again and run a lot of miles, and she’s been very patient, knowing the season is long.”

On the women’s team leadership…
“Danny is a big part of that. She’s a fifth year senior. She’s got the fitness behind her, and the accolades. And one, she’s young, that’s had success is Anna Rohrer and she’s become a much more vocal leader.”

Coming Up Next

The Irish return to action in the Joe Piane Invitational at Burke Golf Course on Friday, September 30, at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse, cross country/track and field and women’s basketball programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.