Oct. 26, 2012
BRONX, N.Y. – The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s cross country teams finish third and fifth, respectively, at the 2012 BIG East Championship Friday afternoon (Oct. 26) at historic Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y.
Senior Jeremy Rae (third), junior Martin Grady (eighth) and senior J.P. Malette (14th) claimed all-BIG EAST honors for the men’s team, while junior Kelly Curran (12th) and senior Rebecca Tracy (15th) racked up all-BIG EAST accolades for the women’s team. Both squads improved from last year’s sixth-place team finishes.
“I was pleased with how our guys ran today,” said men’s head coach Joe Piane. “We were much more aggressive than we have been in other meets this year. We will need to run similarly in two weeks to have a good shot at advancing to the NCAA Championships.”
“We thought top three was a realistic goal, but there were four teams that just ran better than us today,” said women’s head coach Tim Connelly. “We didn’t run poorly by any means. We had a solid top five, but we needed a couple more runners near the top of the pack.”
Rae led the charge for the Irish with a third-place individual finish (24:39) within a field of 114 participants in the eight-kilometer men’s race. Rae was just two seconds behind freshman Martin Hehir (Syracuse), who took the individual title crossing the finish line at 24:37. Rae held off fourth-place finisher Joe Whelan from Syracuse (24:40) and was just edged out by sophomore Shane Quinn (Providence), who finished second (24:38).
“Considering Jeremy has been a little banged up recently I thought he ran a great race,” said Piane. “He went out early and competed hard with some spectacular runners. Finishing third is a great accomplishment. Martin also ran a really great race and J.P. Had by far his best race of the year to help give us a strong top three.”
Syracuse was the top team finisher with 37 points in the men’s championship race. Notre Dame (70 points) finished just three points behind second-place Georgetown, who scored 67 points.
Grady held firm with the leaders as he crossed the finish line at 24:46. This marks the second year in a row that Rae and Grady have received all-BIG-East honors.
Malette finished 14th as he stopped the clock at 24:58. Malette outlasted Orange foes junior Robert Molke (24:59-15th) and sophomore Max Straneva (25:03-16th) as he slid into the top-15 at 14th place to claim his first all-BIG East honor. All three all-BIG East recipients for the Irish ran a five-minute mile pace or better.
Sophomore Jake Kildoo and junior Walter Schafer rounded out the top five runners on the men’s side for the Irish. Kildoo finished 22nd (25:13), while Schafer followed closely behind in 23rd place (25:14).
Curran was the driving force behind the women’s fifth-place finish in the six-kilometer race as she finished 15th out of 126 participants (21:21). Junior Emily Lipari from Villanova took the crown at 20:45.
“Kelly ran a phenomenal race, especially considering she ran the last mile-plus with one shoe,” said Connelly. It was impressive to watch her pass people in the home stretch with one shoe. Rebecca also ran a really solid race. They both earned their all-BIG EAST honors today.”
Georgetown won the women’s race with 58 points. Notre Dame (90 points) finished just seven points behind fourth-place Villanova, who scored 83 points.
Tracy finished 15th (21:25) and held off freshman Samantha Nadel of Georgetown (21:26) to gather in her all-BIG EAST accolade. This marks the first all-BIG EAST honor for both Curran and Tracy.
Sophomore Hannah Eckstein (21:33-20th), sophomore Gabby Gonzales (21:36-21st) and freshman Molly Seidel (21:45-22nd) rounded the top five for the Irish.
Notre Dame will now set their sights on Madison, Wis., as it returns for the second time this season to compete in the NCAA Great Lakes Regionals on Nov. 9. Last year the men finished fourth and the women finished fifth as both teams earned at-large slots in the NCAA Championship field.
Men’s Team Results (14 Teams)
3. Notre Dame – 70 Points
Men’s Individual Results (114 Runners)
3. Jeremy Rae – 23:52 (all-BIG EAST)
8. Martin Grady – 24:46 (all-BIG EAST)
14. J.P. Malette – 24:58 (all-BIG EAST)
22. Jake Kildoo – 25:13
23. Walter Schafer – 24:37
36. Jeff MacMillan – 24:32
42. DJ Thornton – 25:50
60. Patrick Lesiewicz – 26:20
Women’s Team Results (15 Teams)
5. Notre Dame – 90 Points
Women’s Individual Results (126 Runners)
12. Kelly Curran – 21:21 (all-BIG EAST)
15. Rebecca Tracy – 21:25 (all-BIG EAST)
20. Hannah Eckstein – 21:33
21. Gabby Gonzales – 21:36
22. Molly Seidel – 21:45
25. Danielle Aragon – 21:54
33. Meg Ryan – 22:06
36. Jessica Rydberg – 22:08
40. Alexa Aragon – 22:24