AS A SENIOR: Co-captained the Irish cross country team, leading the squad back to the NCAA meet once again … also added his fifth All-America honors to his resume during the outdoor season, placing fifth in the 1,500 meters … competed in five cross country meets for the Irish … made his debut at the Notre Dame Invitational, placing 13th … had an outstanding Pre-National meet, taking seventh overall in 23:40 … bettered that time in a second-place, All-BIG EAST effort at the BIG EAST Championships (23:31) … earned his third consecutive all-BIG EAST designation … stepped up at the Great Lakes Regional to finish seventh and help his team grab an automatic bid to the NCAA meet … had an off day at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., running 32:55 for 132nd overall … did not compete during the indoor track season … focused on the 1,500 meters during the outdoor season … set a new school record and demolished the field as the anchor on Notre Dame[apos]s 4×1,600-meter relay team at the Drake Relays … the squad comprised of Benninger, Todd Ptacek, Patrick Smyth and Jake Watson ran 16:21.27 … ran 3:44.34 in the preliminaries of the 1,500 meters at the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships … established a top-ten all-time Notre Dame mark in the 1,500m at the Georgia Tech Invitational, running 3:43.74 in a tune-up for the NCAA Mideast Regional … showed his experience in championship racing at the regional, earning a bid to the NCAA meet with his third-place showing … ran 3:44.98 in the 1,500m finals, garnering All-Region honors … was the final qualifier out of the preliminaries of the NCAA 1,500-meter competition, crossing the line in 3:43.34 … ran a scorching time of 3:39.80 in the finals, taking fifth place and establishing the second-best mark in school history … earned his fifth career All-American honors and his first in outdoor track … will return for a fifth year with track eligibility, looking to add more national awards to his trophy case.
AS A JUNIOR: Every time he toed the line, was a threat to win the race … earned two more All-America citations, including his first in cross country, to bring his career total to four … led the Irish at all five meets in which he competed, placing in the top 10 overall each time … took a strong fifth at the Notre Dame Invitational, running 23:42 over the 8,000-meter home course and helping the team finish second without one of its top five runners … continued his sterling campaign at the Pre-National Meet, running 23:49 for fourth place … garnered his best-ever finish at the BIG EAST Championship with a runner-up finish (24:09), helping Notre Dame secure the team title … ran extremely well at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, finishing second overall with a 10,000-meter time of 31:06.5 … achieved the best placement by a Notre Dame male at the NCAA Championships since 2001, taking eighth at the national meet in 29:50.2 for 10,000 meters … earned All-America honors and helped Notre Dame to a third-place team trophy (highest finish at nationals since 1990) … kicked off the indoor track season with a bang at the Notre Dame Invitational, running his second sub-four-minute mile in as many years (3:58.77) for the third-best mark in school history, and just two-hundredths of a second off his personal best … returned the following week to run in a loaded 3,000-meter field at the Meyo Invitational … finished second in the race, nearly catching Michigan[apos]s Mike Woods at the line in 7:52.28 to break the school record in the event, a mark previously held by Luke Watson (7:54.02) … his performances in the mile and the 3,000 meters gave him automatic qualifying marks for the NCAA Championships … missed the BIG EAST indoor meet but returned to action at the Alex Wilson Invitational, anchoring the distance medley relay unit in the mile leg … helped the Irish squad qualify for the NCAA meet with a school-record performance of 9:33.82, joined by teammates Thomas Chamney, Ryan Postel, and Adam Currie …competed in the DMR and 3,000 meters at the NCAA Championships — did not finish the 3,000 but helped the relay take sixth overall, earning All-America honors along with Currie, Postel, and John Cavanaugh … got a late start to the outdoor season, but debuted well at the Oregon Invitational, where he ran the eighth-best 5,000 meter time in school history to finish seventh in a field that included professionals (13:55.54) … competed in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters at the outdoor BIG EAST Championships, winning his third BIG EAST title by edging Villanova[apos]s Bobby Curtis in the 1,500 meters (3:46.62) … placed second in the 5,000 meters, bringing his total of career indoor and outdoor all-BIG EAST citations to seven … also helped the Irish men[apos]s team win the 2006 outdoor league title … in a display of superior range, raced the 800 meters at the Georgia Tech Invitational, running 1:48.8 to qualify regionally in his third event (800, 1,500, 5,000) … finished ninth overall in the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Mideast Regional … just missed qualifying for the 5,000-meter NCAA final, posting the 17th-best time in preliminaries with a 14:08.17 mark.
AS A SOPHOMORE: Emerged as one of the premier distance runners in the nation … finished as Notre Dame[apos]s top runner in four of five cross country meets in which he participated … made his 2004 cross country debut in the Notre Dame Invitational, finishing second in 23:43 … took eighth at the Pre-National Meet (24:07) before contributing to the team[apos]s BIG EAST title at the league cross country championships … ran in a pack of four Irish runners at the meet, finishing second on the team and seventh overall in 23:54 to earn all-BIG EAST honors … ran to an outstanding third-place finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, completing the 10,000 meter course in 30:17 … competed aggressively atthe NCAA Championships, eventually finishing 42nd as Notre Dame[apos]s top runner … had one of the better indoor track seasons in school history … won the 3,000 meters at the Notre Dame Invitational in convincing fashion with a time of 7:59.39, thenthe fifth-fastest performance in school history … competed in the prestigious Meyo Mile at the Meyo Invitational, finishing fourth and breaking four minutes with a 3:58.75 effort … was the first Irish runner to break four minutes in the mile since Notre Dame distance legend Luke Watson managed the feat in 2003 …was the second-fastest mile ever run by a Notre Dame athlete (behind Watson) … performed well at the BIG EAST Indoor Championship … won both the mile and the 3,000 meters, becoming just the third Notre Dame athlete to win two individual events in the same BIG EAST league meet … ran 4:12.14 in the finals of the mile and 8:15.22 in the 3,000 meters … continued his excellent season at the NCAA Indoor Championship … earned his first career All-American honor in the mile run, taking fourth in 4:02.24 (sixth-fastest in school history) … also garnered All-American status in the distance medley relay, teaming with Trevor McClain-Duer, Eric Morrison, and Adam Currie to take sixth place … began the outdoor season by running his first career 5,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational … ran one of the year[apos]s world-leading times and broke Watson[apos]s school record with a 13:33.05 performance … qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional in the 5,000 meters … sat out the rest of the outdoor season with an injury.
AS A FRESHMAN: Contributed as one of the top five runners on the 2003 cross country team and developed well during the 2004 track and field season, eventually qualifying as an individual for the NCAA Outdoor Championship … began his cross country career with a 12th-place effort at the National Catholic, helping Notre Dame claim the team title … ran well at the BIG EAST Championship, finishing 21st overall … also ran at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, finishing 38th … qualified for the BIG EAST indoor mile competition at the Meyo Invitational, finishing 10th in the Meyo Mile (4:03.67) … just missed his first BIG EAST Championship at the league indoor meet, finishing second in the mile with a 4:08.74 effort … also finished fifth in the 3,000 meters at the BIG EAST meet, crossing the finish line in 8:19.61 … focused almost exclusively on the 1,500 meters during the 2004 outdoor season, steadily improving his time throughout the year … once again just missed out on a BIG EAST title, finishing second in the 1,500 meters at the outdoor meet (3:50.03) … ran a spectacular 3:41.95 in the 1,500 meters at the Georgia Tech Invitational, qualifying for the NCAA Mideast Regional … his 3:41.95 time ranked second all-time in Notre Dame track and field history for the outdoor 1,500 meters … finished an impressive fifth at the NCAA Mideast Regional in the 1,500 meters, crossing the finish line in 3:51.34 … appeared in his first NCAA Championship at the outdoor competition, finishing 25th in the 1,500 meters (3:55.13) … earned all-BIG EAST honors on the only relay in which he competed during the outdoor season, finishing second in the 4×800-meter relay along with teammates Eric Morrison, Kevin Somok and Thomas Chamney.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL: One of the top prep cross country and middle distance runners in Ontario over the last four years … earned a silver medal at the 2003 Pan Am Junior Games, finishing second in the 1,500 meters … two-time member of the Canadian Junior National Cross Country Team that competed at the World Junior Championships in 2002 and 2003 … member of the Canadian Junior Track and Field Team that competed at the World Youth Championships in 2001 … won the 2003 U.S. Junior National 1,500-meter championship after finishing second in 2002 … placed third in the 2002 National Junior Cross Country Championship … holds Walkerton school records in the 800, 1,500 and 3,000 meters … also holds the Ontario Under-19 outdoor 3,000-meter record (8:10.50) … posts personal-best performances of 8:10.50 in the 3,000 meters, 3:49.08 in the 1,500 meters and 1:51.61 in the 800 meters … born Jan. 1, 1985, in Walkerton, Ontario … oldest of two children … enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters, pursuing his degree in history.