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Keys to the Race: National Catholic

Sept. 14, 2017

Meet Notes Get Acrobat Reader

By Megan Golden

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame cross country teams opens its home schedule with the 38th National Catholic Invitational on Friday at Burke Golf Course. The meet marks the first of Notre Dame’s two home cross country meets this season.

The JV race will kick off the meet at 3:30 p.m. ET as the men and women will start simultaneously, with the women running 5,000m and the men running 8,000m. The women’s championship 5,000m race is scheduled to begin at 4:15 p.m., while the men’s championship race is set for 5 p.m.

The Irish are coming off of first and second-place finishes from the men’s and women’s squads, respectively, at the Crusader Open in Valparaiso. The men’s squad, which recorded a perfect score at the Crusader Open, will be led by freshman Yared Nuguse. The former Kentucky Cross Country State Champion finished first overall (18:09.3) at Valparaiso and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Freshman of the Week on Sept. 6.

On the women’s side, senior Jessica Harris and juniors Rachel DaDamio and Annie Heffernan will make their 2017 cross country debut. The No. 9-ranked women’s squad is looking to build off of a second-place finish at the 2016 ACC Championship (Cary, N.C.).

WHAT: National Catholic Invitational
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET Sept. 15, 2017
WHERE: Burke Golf Course

Meet History

The Irish have won a combined 48 times at the National Catholic, which enters its 38th year. In 2016, the Notre Dame women won its 10th straight National Catholic Invitational, while Saint Louis was victorious on the men’s side.

The Irish men’s squad has won this meet in eight of the last 11 seasons and in 18 of the last 22.

The Competition

The 2017 National Catholic features 32 schools altogether with 11 schools competing in the championship races. Notre Dame will race against the likes of Marquette, DePaul and Holy Cross (Mass.).

Irish Lineup

Andrew Alexander
Tyler Keslin
Dustin Macuiba
Yared Nuguse
Kevin Pulliam
Ryan Schweizer
Elijah Silva
Bradley Wattleworth
Vincent ZonaWomen:
Varsity Race:
Rachel DaDamio
Kaitlin Frei
Jessica Harris
Annie Heffernan
Anna Sophia Keller
Claudia Magnussen

Women’s JV Race:
Alexis Daugherty
Emily Franz
Kelly Hart
Samantha Murray
Madison Ronzone
Brooke Trossen

Admission to all Notre Dame home cross country meets is free and open to the public. For a course map, click here.

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.