Nov. 22, 1999
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Notre Dame men, behind an All-America performance from junior Ryan Shay (Central Lake, Mich.), placed eighth at the 1999 NCAA Cross Country Championships Monday morning at Indiana University. The Irish women, meanwhile, finished 29th in the team?s first appearance at the NCAA championships since 1993.
Shay led the Notre Dame men with a 12th-place finish by running the 10K course in 30:46.10, marking the highest individual finish for an Irish men?s runner since Dan Garrett placed ninth in 1988. Shay also earned All-America status with his top-25 performance, becoming the first Notre Dame men?s runner so honored since Derek Seiling and Jason Rexing in 1996. As a team, the Irish recorded their sixth, top-10 finish in the 1990s, and their best since tying for eighth place in 1995.
Shay, who finished 229th at the 1998 NCAA championships, had been among the leaders of the race from the start, but then slowly faded after experiencing cramping after the 6K mark.
?I was in the lead group through the end of 6K, but I got a cramp and the pack moved away from me,? Shay said. ?When the cramp faded, it was too late and the leaders were too far away. I just tried to pick people off one-by-one.”
Shay was helped by sophomore Luke Watson (Stillwater, Minn.), who finished 58th in the elite college field in 31:35.30, and senior Ryan Maxwell (Staten Island, N.Y.), who was the 100th overall runner to cross the finish line in 32:05.00. Other Notre Dame finishers included: sophomore Marc Striowski (Toronto, Ont.), who was 111th in a time of 32:10.50, senior Sean McManus (Hernando, Fla.) was 120th in 32:19.10, senior John Dudley (Westwood, Mass.) was 215th with a time of 33:41.00 and senior Mike Griewe (Tampa, Fla.) was 217th in 33:44.60.
?The kids are disappointed at the moment, but isn?t it wonderful to be disappointed with eighth place,? Notre Dame men?s head coach Joe Piane said. ?You have to give Ryan Shay credit. He got right out there. He faded a bit, but is still an All-American. Overall, it was a good race, but not a great race and not our best of the year.?
The women, who earned an at-large bid to the championships, were led by senior Alison Klemmer (Troy, Mich.), who finished 73rd in 17:49.60 on the 5K course. Freshman Jennifer Handley (Barrie, Ont.) was the second Notre Dame runner to cross the finish line in 134th with a time of 18:13.20. Senior Patty Rice (Mishawaka, Ind.) notched a 186th place in 18:35.00, junior Erin Olson (Eden Prairie, Minn.) finished 191st in 18:40.70 and senior Nicole LaSelle (Dayton, Ohio) came in right behind Olson in 192nd in 18:40.80 to round out the Irish top-five runners. Junior Chrissy Kuenster (Wheaton, Ill.) was the team?s sixth runner in 195th with a time of 18:42.80, while senior Erin Luby (Inverness, Ill.) finished out her career with a 199th place in 18:45.70.
?Alison (Klemmer, who was sick) didn?t have a good race and we were counting on that low number a lot,? Irish women?s head coach Tim Connelly said. ?The rest of the athletes ran the way I thought they would. We had to run together.?
The Arkansas men captured the team title with 58 points with Wisconsin second with 185 points. North Carolina State (201), Stanford (223) and Michigan (282) rounded out the top five. South Alabama freshman David Kimani won the men?s individual title with a meet record time of 30:06:60. On the women?s side, the Brigham Young Cougars claimed the national title with 72 points. Arkansas (125) was second, followed by Stanford (127), Wisconsin (185) and Kansas State (232). Wisconsin sophomore Erica Palmer won the women?s individual race in a time of 16:39.50.