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Irish Standouts Qualify for NCAA Cross Country Championships

Nov. 16, 1998

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Junior JoAnna Deeter (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) and sophomore Ryan Shay (Central Lake, Mich.) will represent the Notre Dame men’s and women’s cross country squads at the 1998 NCAA Cross Country Championships held in Lawrence, Kan., on Monday, November 23.

Deeter, who finished second at the District IV meet this past weekend, is making her second appearance at the NCAA Championships. As a freshman in 1996, Deeter ran individually and placed third to earn All-America honors. So far this season, she has won four of the six races she has competed in and placed third and second in the other two.

“JoAnna has had a great season,” said head women’s coach Tim Connelly. “She’s capable of a top-10 finish. Plus, she’s already been (to the NCAAs) before, so she knows what to expect.”

Shay is making his first trip to the NCAA Championships after placing 10th at the district race last Saturday. The top American runner at last summer’s Junior World Cross Country Championships, Shay has also been the top runner for the Irish in every meet this season. In 1998, Shay won the National Catholic meet and placed second twice.

“He has run very well all year long,” said head men’s coach Joe Piane. “I would expect that he would have a legitimate shot at making All-American.”

The Notre Dame women’s team, despite finishing fourth at the district meet, were passed over for one of the 13 at-large bids to the championships. Only Wisconsin and Michigan, the two automatic qualifiers from District IV race, will be participating at the NCAAs.

The Notre Dame men’s squad just barely missed being selected as one of the at-large spot teams. Although they finished eighth at the district meet, the top six teams (Michigan State, Michigan, Butler, Wisconsin, Central Michigan and Miami (Ohio)) all will be running in next Monday’s meet. This is the first time since 1991 that the men will not be running in the NCAA championships.