Oct. 16, 2015

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A runner-up finish courtesy of senior Molly Seidel in the women’s championship race highlighted the Notre Dame cross country team’s performance Friday afternoon at the seventh annual Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis. Ultimately, the Fighting Irish claimed 12th in the women’s team standings and placed 27th among the men’s team ranks. Historically a competitive field, the meet showcased 20 ranked women’s teams, as well as 17 of the top-30 men’s teams.

Setting her pace early in the race, Seidel led the pack after the 2k point. Neck-and-neck with Boise State freshman Allie Ostrander down the stretch, Seidel ultimately came up short of snagging the victory; however, her runner-up finish in a 6k time of 19:22.4 set the tone for her fellow Irish racers and secured her standing among the nation’s best.

Anna Rohrer, a freshman this season, strategizes to keep pace with Seidel in a crowded field. With a goal to feed off each other’s strengths, the game plan helped propel Rohrer to a 12th-place finish with a mark of 19:56.9.

With two finishers in the top-15, the Notre Dame women ranked 12th overall with 415 points among the highly competitive field. Top-ranked New Mexico claimed the team title, while Arkansas, Virginia, NC State and Providence rounded out the top-5 teams.

“Our women did what we expected today,” Notre Dame associate head coach Matt Sparks said. “Molly (Seidel) and Anna (Rohrer) ran well and are establishing themselves as two of the better women in the country. We need to get a couple of other ladies healthy if we want to finish top-3 at the ACC championship in two weeks.”

Freshman Rachel DaDamio contributed to the team effort with a 93rd-place showing in a time of 20:55.7. The next pack of racers included Irish senior Karen Lesiewicz and sophomore Sydney Foreman. Lesiewicz dropped a time of 21:15.4 for 127th and Foreman followed with a 21:44.4 for 181st. Freshman Toni Finnane marked the third rookie representing the Irish in the championship race, posting a 22:18.6 for 222nd.

The Notre Dame men earned a 27th-place standing with 582 points in the 8k-championship event. Seniors Michael Clevenger and Timothy Ball continued to be steady, consistent finishers for the Irish, placing 43rd (24:12.5) and 71st (24:17.8), respectively.

“Our men’s team finished at disappointing 27th,” Sparks said. “Disappointing because we know we are much better than that. We have all the pieces of the puzzle, we just need to put them together come race day.”

Junior Chris Marco stuck with Clevenger and Ball within the crowd, following with a time of 24:21.4 for 81st place. The next grouping of Irish included Kevin Pulliam (155th; 24:46.6), Jacob Dumford (222nd; 25:31.0), Calvin Kraft (226th; 25:42.5) and Anthony Williams (227th; 25:47.5).

Notre Dame also had a selection of representatives in the men’s and women’s “B” races. In women’s 6k race, freshman Ella Fennelly claimed 64th in a time of 22:44.6, while the men’s contingent of Brent Kennedy and John Flannery placed 28th and 48th in the 8k event, respectively.

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Top Notre Dame Finishers:
Men – Championship (8k)
53. Michael Clevenger (24:12.5)
71. Timothy Ball (24:17.8)
81. Chris Marco (24:21.4)
155. Kevin Pulliam (24:46.6)
222. Jacob Dumford (25:31.0
226. Calvin Kraft (25:42.5)
227. Anthony Williams (25:47.5)

Women – Championship (6k)
2. Molly Seidel (19:22.4)
12. Anna Rohrer (19:56.9)
93. Rachel DaDamio (20:55.7)
127. Karen Lesiewicz (21:15.4)
181. Sydney Foreman (21:44.4)
222. Toni Finnane (22:18.6)

Men – “B” Race (8k)
28. Brent Kennedy (25:22.5)
48. John Flannery (26:00.2)

Women – “B” Race (6k)
64. Ella Fennelly (22:44.6)

– by Ashley Albertson, Athletics Communications Assistant Director