December 11, 1998

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame’s men’s and women’s cross country teams each fielded a representative at the 1998 NCAA Cross Country Championships on November 23 in Lawrence, Kan. Junior JoAnna Deeter (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) finished 14th with a time of 17:19.73, just 33 seconds behind winner Katie McGregor of Michigan, in her first NCAA appearance since finishing third as a freshman at the 1996 NCAA Championships. Deeter now owns the top two NCAA finishes in Irish history. Deeter’s finish also earned her All-America status for the second time in her career as she became the first two-time women’s All-American in Notre Dame cross country history. Sophomore Ryan Shay (Central Lake, Mich.) also competed at the NCAA Championships, placing 229th with a time of 34:16.80. This was Shay’s second trip to the NCAA Championships after placing 51st with a time of 30:58 in the 1997 NCAA Championships to help lead the Irish to a 12th-place finish. Shay won the National Catholic Championships earlier this season and was the team’s top finisher in each of the eight meets in 1998.

SEASON RECAP: Notre Dame’s cross country teams again had strong seasons as they continued to perform well against some of the best programs in the country. Both teams started off the year on the right foot by capturing first-place finishes at the Wolf & Kettle Invitational on Sept. 12. Ryan Shay placed second with a time of 25:56 and JoAnna Deeter placed first with a time of 18:54.

Next up for both teams was the National Catholic Meet, which again was a showcase for the depth of the Irish. The men won their fourth consecutive National Catholic crown as Shay finished first with a time of 23:46 and freshman Luke Watson (Stillwater, Minn.) finished fourth with a time of 24:24. Deeter led the women to their third consecutive National Catholic championship taking first at the National Catholic meet for her third year in a row.

The Notre Dame Invitational proved to be tougher going for both teams as both suffered their first defeats of the season. The men finished second to highly ranked North Carolina State, while the women placed fifth. Shay and Deeter led their teams again with finishes of second and first respectively.

The men then traveled to Lawrence, Kan. on Oct. 10 to compete in a NCAA pre-national invitational meet. The Irish found the going tough as they finished 12th out of 32 teams. Shay again was the highest Irish finisher in 17th with a time of 25:18.64. Deeter won her fourth consecutive race at the Wolverine Interregional on Oct. 18 to help the women’s team placed 8th out of 15 teams.

Both teams traveled to the BIG EAST Championships in Boston on October 30 where the men finished third after winning the BIG EAST title in 1997, and the women placed fifth after finishing fourth the year before. Shay and Watson were the highest finishers for the Irish with sixth and seventh-place finishes to earn All-BIG EAST honors. Deeter finished third, the first time she had not finished first the whole year, and also earned All-BIG EAST honors for her finish.

The Great Lakes Region District IV meet was next on the horizon for the Irish as both teams looked to earn bids to the NCAA Championships. It was not to be, though, as the men finished eighth and the women placed fourth. Shay placed 10th and earned himself a trip to the NCAA Championships, while Deeter did the same as runner-up behind eventual NCAA individual champion Katie McGregor of Michigan.

NEXT SEASON: The women’s cross country team will be in full force next season and will lose only two seniors who competed this season, neither of which ran at any of the championship meets. The men’s team, however, will lose several runners to graduation including Antonio Arce (Palmdale, Calif), Ryan Maxwell (Staten Island, N.Y.) and Tim Engelhardt (East Syracuse, N.Y.). If the performances of sophomore Ryan Shay and Luke Watson are any indication of the future of Notre Dame men’s cross country, however, the team will still be loaded with talent for the 1999 season.

NCAA Women’s Results

 1. Villanova 2. Brigham Young 3. Stanford 4. Georgetown 5. Wisconsin 6. Arkansas 7. Colorado 8. Baylor 9. Washington10. Willam & Mary

NCAA Men’s Results

 1. Arkansas 2. Stanford 3. Colorado 4. Michigan 5. Oregon  6. Wisconsin 7. Northern Arizona 8. NC State 9. James Madison10. Providence