Oct. 26, 2001
The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s cross country teams accomplished the goals they established for themselves at the 2001 BIG EAST Cross Country Championship at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, NY, on Friday, Oct. 26. The men kept alive their drive for a high finish at the NCAA Championship by winning the meet by three points over Villanova. The women continued their push for a spot in this year’s NCAA Championship with an impressive fourth-place finish in the highly competitive field.
The 2001 BIG EAST Cross Country Championship was arguably one of the top conference races in the nation this year. The men’s field featured #5 Notre Dame, #8 Providence, #14 Villanova and Georgetown (which has appeared in the rankings throughout the 2001 season). The women’s field was equally talented with #3 Georgetown, #5 Boston College, #8 Providence, #16 Villanova and the Irish (who have been ranked as high as 24th this season).
The Irish men reinforced their top-five ranking, just edging second place Villanova by three points (49-52). In an unusual twist, the Wildcats were able to finish fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh, but their fifth runner fell to 30th place, opening the door for Notre Dame’s deep roster to win the meet. The Irish men have now won three conference titles in seven years, while the women’s team earned their fourth top-five finish since 1995.
Senior Luke Watson took second place in 24:22 as the top finisher for the Irish on the day. Sophomore Todd Mobley, who finished 26th in the conference meet just a year ago, moved up to eighth place (24:47) in this season’s race, followed by senior Marc Striowski in ninth (24:48) and senior Ryan Shay in 11th (25:05). Senior Sean Zanderson posted an impressive 19th-place finish to round out the top five Irish harriers.
“It shows what this team is capable of with Shay in the lineup,” Irish head cross country coach Joe Piane, who also collected the men’s cross country staff of the year award at the meet, said of his team’s performance.
“He (Shay) is battling through an Achilles tendon problem. He is just a warrior to go out there and finish as high as he did. He definitely took one for the team today.”
David Alber, the sixth Irish runner, finished 20th for the team in 25:32, while Mario Bird took 32nd (25:59). Pat Conway, still fighting off a heavy cold that forced him to drop out of the Pre-National meet two weeks ago, finished the course in 26:14.
“This team will be different in two weeks,” Piane said.
“Once we get Shay and Conway back to full strength we will be able to do some very good things.”
The women’s team entered the meet facing four of the top 25 teams in the country and eventually ran well enough to finish ahead of #16 Villanova. Junior Jen Handley posted her highest-ever finish at the conference meet, taking seventh place in 20:45. Sophomore Megan Johnson took 14th (21:09), followed by freshmen Lauren King (24th, 21:50) and Christi Arnerich (25th, 21:53). Junior Jen Fibuch rounded out the Notre Dame scoring runners in 37th place.
The fourth-place finish in the highly competitive race put the Irish women one step closer to returning to the NCAA Championship meet this season. The next step for the Irish women, as well as the men, will be the Great Lakes Regional meet in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday, Nov. 10.
Men’s Team Results:
1. Notre Dame, 49 pts.
2. Villanova, 52 pts.
3. Providence, 54 pts.
4. Georgetown, 106 pts.
5. Connecticut, 163 pts.
6. West Virginia, 168 pts.
7. Virginia Tech, 225 pts.
8. Boston College, 233 pts.
9. Seton Hall, 302 pts.
10. Rutgers, 304 pts.
11. Pittsburgh, 308 pts.
12. St. John’s, 316 pts.
13. Miami, 346 pts.
14. Syracuse, 357 pts.
Women’s Team Results:
1. Georgetown, 36 pts.
2. Boston College, 53 pts.
3. Providence, 73 pts.
4. Notre Dame, 107 pts.
5. Villanova, 112 pts.
6. Virginia Tech, 194 pts.
7. Pittsburgh, 203 pts.
8. Connecticut, 215 pts.
9. West Virginia, 237 pts.
10. Syracuse, 306 pts.
11. Rutgers, 318 pts.
12. Miami, 337 pts.
13. Seton Hall, 391 pts.
14. St. John’s, 393 pts.
2001 Men’s All-BIG EAST Team (Top 15 finishers)
1. Dan Wilson, Connecticut, 24:22
2. Luke Watson, Notre Dame, 24:22
3. Harmish Thorpe, Providence, 24:28
4. Adrian Blincoe, Villanova, 24:31
5. Ryan Hayden, Villanova, 24:34
6. Jon Fasulo, Villanova, 24:42
7. Tom Parlapiano, Villanova, 24:43
8. Todd Mobley, Notre Dame, 24:47
9. Marc Striowski, Notre Dame, 24:48
10. Dermot Galvin, Providence, 25:02
11. Ryan Shay, Notre Dame, 25:05
12. Patrick Moulton, Providence, 25:07
13. Dylan Wykes, Providence, 25:13
14. Rob Koborsi, Georgetown, 25:15
15. Chris Miltenberg, Georgetown, 25:17
Other Notre Dame finishes:
19. Sean Zanderson, 25:30
20. David Alber, 25:32
32. Mario Bird, 25:59
Pat Conway, 26:14
2001 Women’s All-BIG EAST Team (Top 15 finishers)
1. Catherine Guiney, Boston College, 20:04
2. Mami Kruppa, Georgetown, 20:27
3. Megan Guiney, Boston College, 20:33
4. Jill Laurnedeau, Georgetown, 20:37
5. Maria Cicero, Boston College, 20:37
6. Claire Shearman, Providence, 20:41
7. Jen Handley, Notre Dame, 20:45
8. Erin Sicher, Georgetown, 20:50
9. Roisin McGettigan, Providence, 20:58
10. Nicole Lee, Georgetown, 20:59
11. Sarah Casilli, Connecticut, 21:00
12. Amanda Pape, Georgetown, 21:06
13. Kalin Toedebusch, Villanova, 21:08
14. Megan Johnson, Notre Dame, 21:09
15. Ioana Parusheva, Villanova, 21:11
Other Notre Dame finishes:
44. Muffy Schmidt, 22:43
48. Rachel Endress, 22:49
Julia Schmidt, 22:56
Megan Peterson, 23:05