Notre Dame Invite Program
Sept. 27, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s and women’s cross country teams return to the University’s Burke Golf Course on Friday, Sept. 28th as they welcome in some of the nation’s elite at the 57th annual Notre Dame Invitational.
Friday’s invitational will kick off with the women’s gold race starting at 2 p.m. followed by the men’s gold race at 2:45 p.m. The JV/open race will split action with a start time of 3:30 p.m. The women’s blue race will begin at 4:15 p.m. and the men’s blue race will round out the day at 5 p.m.
Flotrack.com will offer coverage of the meet and UND.com will offer a video recap of the event at the conclusion of the day’s races.
The Notre Dame Invitational has been a part of the schedule since 1956. Over that course of time, the men’s team has crowned a top-finisher in the five-mile event nine times, most recently in 2001 with Luke Watson (24:56). The men’s team has won their invitational on 16 occasions with 2007 being the last time they accomplished that feat.
The women’s team has hosted the event since 1987. Throughout that time the women have had a top finisher six times. Stephanie Madia was the last runner (2005) to win the event with a time of 16:36 in the 3.1-mile race. The women’s team has won their invitational five times with the last time coming in 2003.
This weekend the Irish will have to up the ante in order to place well with an extremely talented field entering the scene. The main feature, the blue divisional races, will see eight DI ranked teams in the men’s race and four DI ranked teams in the women’s race.
Men’s USTFCCCA Rankings In DI field: No. 10 Florida State, No. 14 Texas A&M, T-17 Princeton, No. 20 Tulsa, No. 21 New Mexico, No. 24 Notre Dame, No. 25 Eastern Kentucky, No. 26 Michigan and No. 29 Washington State.
Women’s USTFCCA Rankings In DI field: No. 2 Florida State, No. 19 New Mexico, No. 21 Butler, No. 20 Notre Dame and No. 25 N.C. State.
Both Notre Dame squads enter Friday’s meet having claimed a pair of team and top-individual finishes two weeks prior at the National Catholic Championship.
The men’s team won the National Catholic Championship, in a field of 277 runners, with a 57-point margin over second place Duquesne University and was led by senior Jeremy Rae’s first place finish (24:16) in the five-mile race.
The women’s team was led to a team win by senior Rebecca Tracy’s victory in the 3.1 mile event (17:11.8) and, in a field of 232 runners, gathered a 41-point marginal victory over second place Duquesne University.
The Notre Dame “B” teams will also see a competitive field in the gold divisional races. The men’s gold division will race five ranked teams and the women’s gold race, two.
Men’s USTFCCCA Rankings In DII-DIII field: No. 1 North Central College (DIII), No. 6 Calvin (DIII), No. 16 UW Stevens Point (DIII), No. 18 Wabash (DIII) and No. 33 Hillsdale (DII).
Women’s USTFCCCA Rankings In DII-DIII field: No. 8 Calvin (DIII) and No. 22 Hillsdale (DII).
Last year at the Notre Dame Invitational the women finished fifth and the men finished 11th.
BYU raced away with a first place team finish in men’s blue race with all five of their scored runners landing in the top 20 positions. The Irish finished just 29 points behind 10th place Air Force and five points ahead of Ohio State University.
Florida State was the women’s blue race team champion. Notre Dame closed to within 22 points of fourth place Penn State and held off sixth place BYU by 44 points.
Senior J.P. Malette (41st) was the top-finisher for the Irish in the DI five-miler with a time of 24:51. Junior Martin Grady (53rd, 24:56), junior Walter Schafer (68th, 25:10) and senior Jeremy Rae (73rd, 25:11) rounded out the top returning finishers.
Senior Jessica Rydberg (25th) was Notre Dame’s top runner in the DI race with a time of 17:33. She is joined this year by juniors Alexa Aragon (32nd, 17:40) and Kelly Curran (51st, 17:50) and senior Rebecca Tracy (73rd, 17:59), who also placed in the top five for the Irish last season.
In the gold division the men’s team picked up a seventh place finish thanks to returnees’ senior Jeff MacMillian (44th, 26:07), junior Kevin Jacobs (60th, 26:12) and junior Patrick Smith (81st, 26:43).
Although the women’s team did not participate in the gold race, they did however flourish in the women’s open race. Senior Angela Ryck came across the finish line in sixth place with a time of 18:29. Not far behind was sophomore Katherine Stultz, who finished ninth, stopping her clock at 18:36. Junior Michelle Mowry (12th, 18:37) and sophomore Gabby Gonzales (30th, 19:09) rounded out the top five returning Irish.
The forecast on Friday will see clear skies and perfect running conditions with a high of 67 degrees and a low of 46 degrees.
For complete results and a recap of Friday’s meet follow UND.com, Facebook (facebook.com/NDXCTF) or Twitter (@NDXCTF).