Molly Seidel

Notre Dame Continues Building Tradition at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational

Oct. 2, 2015

JPNDI Complete Results Get Acrobat Reader

Photo Gallery

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With a field of competitors featuring a combined 10 nationally ranked men’s and women’s teams, the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational continued building upon its storied tradition Friday afternoon at the Notre Dame Golf Course. Celebrating the legacy of the event’s namesake, Joe Piane, and the 60th anniversary of the premier meet, the Fighting Irish came away with a pair of top-10 team finishes.

Overall, the No. 20 Notre Dame women placed third in the Blue Division team standings with a score of 143. Top-ranked New Mexico lived up to the hype with five top-15 individual finishers and an overall team victory (29 points).

“New Mexico, which is the top-ranked team in the country, that just speaks volumes for what the tradition of this meet is,” Notre Dame associate head coach Matt Sparks said. “It’s really neat to have Coach Piane with the naming rights for this meet – it’s his meet now – and to have the number one team in the country here, on the women’s side, the first time the meet is run in his honor is kind of a cool thing.”

The UTEP Miners finished on top the team standings in the Blue Division men’s 5-mile race with a final total of 89 points. No. 27 North Carolina State, No. 26 Colorado State, No. 23 Southern Utah and Purdue were the remaining top-five finishers.

The Blue Division women’s 5k race kicked off the afternoon, with two Irish earning top-10 individual finishes. Both student-athletes – Molly Seidel and Anna Rohrer – overcame mid-week illnesses to compete in the race. Seidel, a senior this season, earned third with a time of 16:28.3, while Rohrer, a freshman standout for the Irish, claimed eighth with a mark of 16:46.8. The race was the first of the season for Seidel, who was the 10,000-meter title winner at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

“Monday, I wasn’t sure if I was going to race,” Rohrer said following the race. “Molly (Seidel) was sick too, and a few girls were feeling down. The beginning of the week was really rough, but I’m feeling better every day – doing what I can to get my work done, try to get sleep and try to get better. It’s a difficult balance.”

Rookies Rachel DaDamio and Annie Heffernan, as well as veteran Karen Lesiewicz also scored for the Irish. DaDamio raced to a 34th-place finish (17:14.6), while her classmate Heffernan earned 46th (17:22.6). With a time of 17:25.9, Lesiewicz placed 52nd overall.

Although the women’s finish was strong among a tough field of contenders, Sparks is continuously looking to improve his own nationally ranked squad.

“It was a good experience for the freshmen girls, who have never been in this type of field,” Sparks said. “Most of these girls haven’t been beat for a couple of years, even at the state level – not just Anna (Rohrer), but Annie (Heffernan) and Rachel (DaDamio). And for them to get lost in the shuffle, it’s a bad experience; however, it’s a good experience to learn and to figure out how to better manage the crowds.”

The Blue Division men’s 5-mile race was next on the agenda. Notre Dame placed 10th in the team standings behind the efforts of Michael Clevenger, Timothy Ball, Chris Marco, Jacob Dumford and Kevin Pulliam.

Clevenger, a senior this season, led the way for the Irish with a 12th-place effort in a time of 24:01.3. He was followed in the standings by Ball, who claimed 24th with a mark of 24:19.2. Registering a time of 24:28.5, Marco crossed the line in 35th place. Dumford and Pulliam rounded out the squad’s scoring efforts, placing 84th and 88th, respectively.

“Even though we were 10th, there’s still a lot of positives to take away from the men’s race,” Sparks said. “Those front three for us were strong. Other than a few teams, I’m not sure who had a better top-three than us.”

Notre Dame had three entries in the men’s open five-mile race. Sophomore Brent Kennedy was the top placeholder for the Irish, earning 18th place in 25:33.6. Kennedy’s classmates John Flannery and Kirk Hanson also competed in the race.

Notre Dame raced a b-team in the Gold Division women’s 5k race. The Irish contingent of sophomore Ashlyn Rambo, sophomore Alexis Daugherty, freshman Ella Fennelly, sophomore Jessica Harris and sophomore Kaitlin Frei placed sixth with a score of 172. Rambo earned a top-team time of 18:05.4 for 19th.

Up next, the Irish will travel to Madison, Wisc. for the Wisconsin Invitational on Oct. 16.

For an inside look into the Notre Dame Cross Country/Track and Field program, follow the Fighting Irish onTwitter,Facebook and Instagram.

Team Results:
Men – Blue Division (Top 5)
1. UTEP – 89
2. NC State – 97
3. Colorado State – 126
4. Southern Utah – 134
5. Purdue – 169

Men – Gold Division (Top 5)
1. Clemson – 53
2. North Central – 88
3. Eastern Illinois – 115
4. Northern Iowa – 151
5. Saint Louis – 156

Women – Blue Division (Top 5)
1. New Mexico – 29
2. NC State – 74
3. Notre Dame – 143
4. Vanderbilt – 150
5. Utah – 164

Women- Gold Division (Top 5)
1. Butler – 108
2. Indiana – 114
3. Saint Louis – 125
4. IUPUI – 126
5. W Michigan – 170

Top Notre Dame Finishers:
Men – Blue Division (8k)
12. Michael Clevenger (24:01.3)
24. Timothy Ball (24:19.2)
35. Chris Marco (24:28.5)
84. Jacob Dumford (24:59.2)
88. Kevin Pulliam (25:00.7)
161. Billy Dolan (26:41.3)

Women – Blue Division (5k)
3. Molly Seidel (16:28.3)
8. Anna Rohrer (16:46.8)
34. Rachel DaDamio (17:14.6)
46. Annie Heffernan (17:22.6)
52. Karen Lesiewicz (17:25.9)
85. Sydney Foreman (17:48.4)
118. Tori Finnane [B] (18:13.1)

Men- Open Race (5 mile)
18. Brent Kennedy (25:33.6)
28. John Flannery (25:53.3)
66. Kirk Hansen (26:56.2)
DNF. Aaron Roe

Women – Gold Division (5k)
19. Ashyln Rambo (18:05.4)
21. Alexis Daugherty (18:09.5)
28. Ella Fennelly (18:15.1)
39. Jessica Harris (18:22.5)
67. Kaitlin Frei (18:47.0)
83. Kelly Hart (19:01.1)
128. Lourdes Brea (20:02.4)

– Ashley Albertson, Athletics Communications Assistant Director