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Irish Set To Host 51st National Catholic Invitational

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame cross country programs will kick off the home portion of their season Friday when they welcome 22 programs to campus for the 51st National Catholic Invitational at the Burke Golf Course. 

It will mark the 40th season the Irish have hosted the event, with the women’s team having won 12 straight championship races and the men winning nine of the past 13. 

Meet Information

What: 51st National Catholic Invitational
When: Sept. 20, 2019
Where: Burke Golf Course | Notre Dame, Ind.
Schedule of Events: 3:30 p.m. ET Open Race | 4:15 p.m. Women’s 5K Championship | 5 p.m. ET Men’s 5 Mile Championship
The Field: Ave Maria University, Benedictine University, Brescia University, Canisius College, Creighton University, Dayton, Detroit Mercy, Franciscan University, College of the Holy Cross, Loras College, Lourdes University, Marian University, Notre Dame, Ohio Dominican, St. Mary’s University, College of Saint Benedict, University of St. Francis, Saint Mary’s College (Ind.), Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, St. Norbert College, St. Xavier University, Thomas More College, Walsh University

Irish Championship Lineup

Men (alphabetical): Matthew Carmody, Brendan Fraser, Brian Griffith, Dylan Jacobs, Tyler Keslin, Zach Kreft, Jack McNabola, Peter Monahan, Vincent Zona
Women (alphabetical): Erin Archibeck, Katie Rose Blachowicz, Maddy Denner, Kelly Hart, AnnaSophia Keller, Jocelyn Long, Madison Ronzone, Erin Sullivan, Brooke Trossen

By the Numbers

1 — Both Irish men and women placed first at last year’s National Catholic Invitational.
1 — The Irish men and women both opened the 2019 season with first-place finishes at the Crusader Open on Sept. 6.
1 — The Irish men’s cross country program claimed first place at the 2018 ACC Championships and were picked by the league’s coaches to repeat in this year’s ACC Preseason Coaches Poll.
2 — The Irish women’s squad finished second at last year’s conference championship and ranked No. 2 in the 2019 ACC Preseason Coaches Poll.
4 — The Irish women’s team returns four student-athletes who competed at the NCAA Championships last season.
6 — The Irish men’s team returns six student-athletes who competed at the NCAA Championships last season.
6 — Junior Andrew Alexander is Notre Dame’s top returning entrant from last year’s National Catholic Invite, having finished sixth for the Irish last season.
8 — Junior AnnaSophia Keller is Notre Dame’s top returning runner from last year’s National Catholic race, where she finished eighth to help the Irish to a first-place finish.
10 — The Notre Dame men ranked 10th national in the latest USTFCCCA Coaches’ Poll after opening the season in the No. 9 spot.
12 — The women’s team polled at No. 12 in the latest national poll, dropping one spot from the preseason release.
40 — 2019 marks the 40th straight season the Irish are hosting the National Catholic Invitational at the Burke Golf Course.
51 — This year’s National Catholic Invitational will be the 51st in which the Irish have participated.


  • In the first meet of the season, both Irish teams won titles at the Crusader Open at Valparaiso University. For the men, Zach Kreft, Matthew Carmody and Brian Griffith finished first, second and third, respectively, while Maddy Denner, Jocelyn Long and Kelly Hart took the top three spots for the women.
  • The Irish women are led by three-time cross country All-American and 2016 ACC Cross Country Champion Anna Rohrer. After missing her junior cross country season, Rohrer returned as a senior and paced the Irish to an eighth-place national finish as the team’s top finisher in 10th place. All told, Rohrer is an eight-time All-America honoree between cross country and track.
  • Sophomore Danny Kilrea finished 33rd at last season’s NCAA Championships to earn All-America honors.
  • Junior Yared Nuguse won a pair of national championships during the track season, anchoring the men’s distance medley relay at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and winning the 1,500 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He finished third at both the ACC Cross Country Championships and the NCAA Great Lakes Regional last season.
  • Sophomore Jackie Gaughan was also a major contributor for the Irish women last season, finishing seventh at the ACC Championships and sixth at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. 
  • Maddy Denner and Jocelyn Long were mid-year transfers for the Irish last season, enrolling in January and competing during the track season. Denner competed in the 10,000 meters at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships, finishing 19th.
  • Graduate student Tony Williams and senior Kevin Salvano are serving as men’s team captains this season, while graduate students Anna Rohrer and Kelly Hart serve in the same capacity for the women’s squad.
  • Friday’s race will mark the cross country debut for sophomore Dylan Jacobs, who competed solely in track last season. Jacobs was the 2017 Footlocker National Champion and ran with Nuguse on the champion DMR squad.
  • Sean Carlson was promoted to head men’s cross country coach prior to the season. He had spent the previous five seasons as an Irish assistant coach primarily focused on distance.