Junior Chris Rodriguez led the Irish men by winning the 6K race with atime of 19:51.

Men And Women Take Team Titles In Season Debut

Sept. 7, 2007

VALPARAISO, Ind. – Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams got off to an impressive start to the 2007 season by dominating the field and taking both the men’s and women’s team titles at the 2007 Crusader Open hosted by Valparaiso at Sunset Hills Farm in Valparaiso, Ind. Junior Chris Rodriguez (Kelso, Wash./Kelso) earned the men’s individual crown at the 6K Sunset Hills course, finishing with a time of 19:51.

Friday’s win marked the fourth consecutive Crusader Open title for the men’s team, knocking off second-place Valparaiso by an impressive 30 points. The women also showed domination, leading over Western Michigan by 16 points.

With Rodriguez leading the men, junior Kevin Veselik (Clarendon Hills, Ill./Benet Academy) followed in hot pursuit with a second-place finish and a time of 20:01, only ten seconds after his teammate. Other top runners in the field for the Irish included Kevin McFadden (New Tripoli, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) in ninth (20:28), Mark Moore (Novi, Mich./Novi) in 10th (20:30) and John Daly, Jr. (Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier) in 11th (20:36), finishing just seconds apart from each other and making for five Notre Dame finishers in the top 15.

On the women’s side of the field, the young group of competitors for the Irish made a strong effort at the finish to win the Crusader Open, a victory worth celebrating after they lost the title by only one point at the 2006 Crusader Open.

Leading off for the win for Notre Dame was sophomore Beth Tacl (St. Cloud, Minn./Cathedral) in third place, covering the 4K course with a time of 19:07, just eight seconds off of the second-place finisher from Valparaiso. Three other Irish runners crossed the line in the top ten places, including newcomer Abby Higgins (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy) in sixth with a time of 19:27, followed by junior Emily Wauford (Midlothian, Va./Maggie Walker Governor’s School) in seventh with a time of 19:46. Senior Julie Opet (Wayne, Pa./Radnor) rounded out the top ten for Notre Dame, finishing ninth with a time of 19:54.


Crusader Open

Sept. 7, 2006

Valparaiso, Ind. • Sunset Hills Farm

MEN’S 6,000-METER FINAL Team Results: 1. NOTRE DAME 33; 2. Valparaiso 63; 3. Wisconsin-Milwaukee 75; 4. Wright State 100; 5. Saint Joseph’s College 114; 6. Wisconsin-Green Bay 129.

Individuals (top five of 60 plus Notre Dame finishers): 1. Chris Rodriguez (Notre Dame) 19:51; 2. Kevin Veselik (Notre Dame) 20:01; 3. Nick Hawley (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) 20:10; 4. Chris Honig (Valparaiso) 20:12; 5. Isaiah Kesslo (Wright State) 20:13; 9. Kevin McFadden (Notre Dame) 20:28; 10. Mark Moore (Notre Dame) 20:30; 11. John Daly, Jr. (Notre Dame) 20:36; 17. Kary Yergler (Notre Dame) 20:58; 18. James Millar (Notre Dame) 20:58; 20. Thomas Noel (Notre Dame) 21:01; 33 Kyle Higdon (Notre Dame) 21:37; 36. Colin Diamond (Notre Dame) 21:44.

WOMEN’S 4,000-METER FINAL Team Results: 1. NOTRE DAME 38; 2. Western Michigan University 54; 3. Wisconsin-Milwaukee 83; 4. Valparaiso 125; 5. Saint Joseph’s College 137; 6. Wright State 152; 7. Wisconsin-Green Bay 164; 8. Cleveland State 197.

Individuals (top five of 80 plus Notre Dame finishers): 1. Laura Rolf (Valparaiso) 17:51; 2. Rachel Button (Valparaiso) 18:59; 3. Beth Tacl (Notre Dame) 19:07; 4. Samantha Draney (Western Michigan) 19:23; 5. Holly Nearman (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) 19:23; 6. Abby Higgins (Notre Dame) 19:27; 7. Emily Wauford (Notre Dame) 19:46; 9. Julie Opet (Notre Dame) 20:01; 13. Adrienne Pastula (Notre Dame) 20:13; 16. Morgan Schulz (Notre Dame) 20:24; 18. Kahki Mealey (Notre Dame) 20:44; 10. Alexis Nordine (Notre Dame) 20:48; 24. Erica Watson (Notre Dame) 20:58; 36. Danielle Ribera (Notre Dame) 21:42; 41. Christine Cummings (Notre Dame) 21:55; 45. Analisa Sandoval (Notre Dame) 22:06; 61. Dominique Taylor (Notre Dame) 23:12.