Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Keys to the Race: Crusader Open

Aug. 31, 2017

By Megan Golden

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame cross country team opens its regular season at the Crusader Open looking to repeat last year’s perfect scores by both the men’s and the women’s squads.

The Irish travel to Valparaiso for the first meet of the season, looking to its veteran leaders to set the tone for the 2017 campaign.

WHAT: Crusader Open
WHEN: Friday, September 1, 2017 at 6 p.m. ET
WHERE: Sunset Hill Farm County Park (Valparaiso)
LIVE STREAM: Not available for this meet.
LIVE RESULTS: Not available for this meet.

What to Watch

Ten freshmen student-athletes are scheduled to compete at the Crusader Open for the Irish on Friday. Notre Dame will be racing against Valparaiso, Purdue and Western Michigan (women’s team only), providing the new faces with valuable competition in their collegiate debuts.

The Irish also return several familiar faces, including senior co-captain Kevin Pulliam. The McLean, Virginia, native sat out the 2016 season due to injury and will look to provide veteran leadership on an extremely young team.

Last year, Pulliam finished ninth in the 10,000m at the Atlantic Coast Conference Track & Field Championships with a time of 30:17.00 and placed 15th in the 5,000m (14:29.80) at the conference championship.

ACC Preseason Rankings

The Atlantic Coast Conference released its preseason coaches poll on Thursday, revealing the women’s and men’s teams in the No. 2 and No. 6 spots, respectively.

In 2016, the women wrapped up the ACC Championships in second place behind NC State, while the men’s squad placed 10th overall. The Irish will look to build off of last season’s extremely young roster and improve their finishes at the conference meet.

Irish Lineup

Andrew Alexander
Brent Kennedy
Tyler Keslin
Sean Kurdy
Yared Nuguse
Kevin Pulliam
Ryan Schweizer
Conor Sheryak
Bradley Wattleworth
Vincent Zona

Emily Franz
Kaitlin Frei
Anna Sophia Keller
Kelly Koehnen
Maryclare Leonard
Claudia Magnussen
Madison Ronzone
Brooke Trossen

For behind-the-scenes coverage of the Irish cross country program, follow @NDXCTF on Twitter and @NDXCTF on Instagram.


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 soccer and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.