Senior Jessica Rydberg

Nationally-Ranked Irish Set For Strong Field At Wisconsin Invitational

Oct. 11, 2012

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s and women’s cross country teams travel to Madison, Wis., on Friday afternoon (Oct. 12) to compete against a strong field of 37 ranked opponents at the fourth-annual Wisconsin adidas Cross Country Invitational (WACCI).

The women’s championship race takes place at 1 p.m. (ET) followed by the men’s championship race at 1:40 p.m. (ET). The women’s “B” race will begin at 2:20 p.m. (ET) with the men’s “B” race concluding the day at 3:00 p.m. (ET).

COVERAGE: Stay up to date with race results by following @NDXCTF on twitter. View live video feed for each race and search for post-race interviews on Visit for a full recap and race results.

THIRD ANNUAL (RECAP): The Irish will make their second appearance at the WACCI. Last year the men finished 19th out of 39 teams in the championship race (8K). Senior Jeremy Rae was the first runner through for Notre Dame stopping the clock at 24:41 and finishing in 74th place.

The women’s team garnered a 15th place finish out of 44 teams. Senior Jessica Rydberg led the Irish to the finish line in the 6K championship with a 20:47, finishing in 36th place.

Senior Jeff MacMillan is the top returnee from the men’s “B” race (8K) last year. MacMillan finished 43rd out of 88 runners with a time of 25:58. On the women’s side, junior McKinzie Schulz came in at 21:49 finishing 16th out of 108 competitors in the “B” race (6K).

Wisconsin won its home invitational last year in the men’s championship posting 66 points, distancing themselves by a staggering 54 points from second-place BYU. Washington looks to defend its first-place finish in the women’s championship as they edged out Vanderbilt by 12 points.

LAST TIME OUT: The Irish played host to the Notre Dame Invitational on Sept. 28. The men’s blue race lineup finished third out of 20 squads and the women’s blue race lineup finished second out of 18 squads. Rae led the Irish with a 23:46 in the men’s 8K blue race. Junior Kelly Curran was the top finisher in the women’s 5k blue race with a time of 17:02. Tracy (15th) was a step behind, finishing with a 17:03 (18th). In the gold race, Notre Dame finished fifth out of 18 squads. Junior DJ Thornton (16th) and sophomore Jason Hoard (17th) each ran a 25:06 8K. In the women’s gold 5K event, the Irish finished second out of 15 teams. Freshman Sydni Meunier (18:00- 11th), sophomore Emily Frydrych (18:02- 12th) and senior Angela Ryck (18:05-13th) all finished in the front of the pack for the Irish.

THE COURSE: Opened in the fall of 2009, the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course is home to the University of Wisconsin’s cross country teams. Located next to University Ridge Golf Course, the layout of the course features a continuously winding terrain of hills and woodlands testing the most elite runner. An elevated plain around the course route allows for prime viewing for spectators. A wide starting area has made the course accessible to several other cross country events.

The men’s 8K-course record, through its four-year stint, is held by Arizona’s Lawi Lalang (23:10) set on Oct. 14, 2011.

The women’s 6K course record is held by Villanova’s Shelia Reid (19:56) set on Oct. 14, 2011.

WEATHER: Friday’s forecast is calling for perfect running conditions with a sunny outlook. A high of 53 degrees and a low of 41 degrees will mark the temperature range. Winds will reach seven mph out of the northeast.

MEN’S FIELD (46) Arizona, Arizona State, No. 19 Arkansas, Brown, California, Cal Poly, No. 27 UCLA, Colorado State, No. 17 Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, No. 20 Eastern Kentucky, No. 24-T Georgia, Harvard, Illinois, No. 26 Indiana, No. 5 Iona , Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, LaSalle, No. 24-T Michigan, Michigan State, No. 16 Minnesota, No. 30 Missouri, Nebraska, No. 28 New Mexico, North Carolina, NC State, No. 18 Northern Arizona, No. 13 Notre Dame, Ohio State, No. 4 Oklahoma, Penn State, No. 5 Portland, No. 11 Princeton, Providence, Purdue, No. 9 Stanford, No. 10 Syracuse, Texas A&M, No. 22 Texas, No. 29 Virginia, Washington, No. 1 Wisconsin, Yale

SCOUTING REPORT: Twenty-one ranked teams are in the field. Once again, No. 1 Wisconsin will be the team to beat. The Badgers return five of their top seven runners from last season’s national championship team.

Nineteen of the top 30 teams and seven of the top ten teams at the 2011 NCAA Championship will represent the field for the men’s race.

Arizona sophomore Lawi Lalang will look to defend his ’11 Wisconsin adidas Invitational championship crown (23:11). Lalang also won the ’11 NCAA Championship with a 28:44 10K time. Senior Henry Lelei from Texas A&M will be hot on Lalang trail as he finished 26th at the 2011 Wisconsin adidas Invitational (24:15-8K) and ninth at the ’11 NCAA National Championship with a 29:29 10K time. Thirteen of the top 50 finishers at the ’11 NCAA Championship will race Friday.

WOMENS FIELD (49): No. 2 Arizona, Arizona State, No. 21 Boston College, Brown, BYU, California, Cal Poly, UCLA, Colorado State, No. 23 Columbia, UConn, No. 9 Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia, Harvard, Indiana, Iona, Iowa, No. 5 Iowa State, Kansas, LaSalle, No. 10 Michigan State, No. 27 Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, No. 19 New Mexico, North Carolina, NC State, Northern Arizona, Northwestern, No. 16 Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Princeton, No. 28 Providence, Purdue, San Francisco, No. 7 Stanford, Syracuse, Texas A&M, No. 15 Toledo, No. 12 Vanderbilt, Virginia, No. 3 Washington, No. 13 Weber State, Wisconsin, No. 30 Yale

WOMENS SCOUTING REPORT: Sixteen ranked teams are in the field. Washington returns in the women’s 6K as one of the top contenders. The Huskies won the same event last year and finished second at the ’11 NCAA National Championship. The Huskies return six of their top seven runners. Vanderbilt also will be a top contender after finishing second at the ’11 WACCI and sixth at the NCAA National Championship.

Eighteen of the top 30 and five of the top ten at the NCAA National Championship will race Friday.

Junior Katie Flood (Washington) is the top returning finisher from last year’s women’s championship field as she finished seventh with a time of 20:13. Senior Kathy Kroeger (Stanford) will battle for a top spot as she finished tenth running a 20:16 6K. Eleven of the top 50 runners from the ’11 NCAA Championship will race on Friday.

WATCH ALERT: Both Irish squads will face two BIG EAST teams on Friday (Providence and Syracuse). Both Providence and Syracuse finished ahead of both Notre Dame’s men’s and women’s teams last year at the BIG EAST Championship. With the BIG EAST Championship right around the corner, an opportunity surfaces to gain an indication on where the Irish fall in line with other BIG EAST foes.

IRISH MAKING THE TRIP: MEN: (11) Michael Clevenger, Martin Grady, Jason Hoard, Jake Kildoo, Patrick Lesiewicz, Jeff MacMillan, J.P. Malette, Jeremy Rae, Walter Schafer, Johnathan Shawel, DJ Thornton WOMEN: (14) Alexa Aragon, Danielle Aragon, Kelly Curran, Hannah Eckstein, Emily Frydrych, Gabby Gonzales, Sydni Meunier, Meg Ryan, Angela Ryck, Jessica Rydberg, McKinzie Schulz, Molly Seidel, Katherine Stultz, Rebecca Tracy

WHATS NEXT: Following the WACCI, the Irish prepare for the BIG EAST Championship on Oct. 26 at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y.