November 25, 1996

Notre Dame’s Men’s Cross Country Finishes Ninth at NCAA Championships

Deeter Finishes Third in Women’s Race

TUCSON, Ariz. — Notre Dame’s men’s cross country team ended its 1996 season with is second-consecutive top-10 finish at the NCAA cross country championship in Tucson, Ariz. Junior Jason Rexing and senior Derek Seiling finished 26th and 30th, respectively, to earn All-America honors, leading the Irish to their ninth-place finish.

Freshman Joanna Deeter ran individually for Notre Dame’s women’s team and came away with the highest finish in Notre Dame women’s cross country history with her third place finish, becoming an All-American in her first NCAA championship race.

Stanford claimed both the men’s and women’s team titles, marking the first time since 1985 that one school claimed both titles when Wisconsin swept the titles. Arkansas’ Godfrey Siamusiye won his second NCAA men’s race and Arizona Amy Skieresz claimed the women’s title on her home course.

“Our goal all year was to finish in the top 10 and we certainly accomplished that,” said Notre Dame men’s cross country coach Joe Piane. “I think everyone would agree that we could have done a little bit better but coming away with two All-Americans is very satisfying. The future looks very bright for both programs.”

Deeter started the women’s race strong, running second through the middle portion of the race before Providence’s BIG EAST Marie McMahon edged Deeter out for second, passing Deeter in the final third of the race. The third-place finish ties her lowest finish of the year, which came on the same course at the Arizona Invitational. Skieresz won the race with a time of 17:04 while McMahon finished in 17:20 with Deeter close behind at 17:24.

“For a freshman to come into her first NCAA race and do what she did is remarkable,” said Notre Dame women’s cross country coach Tim Connelly. “She approached the race with such an incredible outlook, focusing on having fun and running the way she likes.”

“My goal was just to go out there and fun,” said Deeter. “I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself, just to have fun running which I always do but of course I am happy with my finish.”

The men’s team continued its success in the 1990s with its fifth top-10 finish since 1990 as the Irish received strong performances once again from their top-four runners. Rexing, 1 1996 outdoor track All-American, was the top Notre Dame finishers for the Irish as he has been for most of the season. Seiling becomes a two-time All-American for Notre Dame after his 27th place at the 1995 NCAA cross country championships and his 30th-place finish on Monday. Seniors Matt Althoff and Joe Dunlop finished in 40th and 59th to round out the top four. Strong finishes from their top-four runners was the formula the Irish used to win the NCAA District IV meet on Saturday, November 16 to advance to the NCAA championships.

Notre Dame managed to finish ahead of the three other BIG EAST teams that qualified for the 22-team field. After finishing fourth at the BIG EAST championship, the Irish managed to beat out Providence, Villanova and St. John’s, the top-three finishers at the conference meet earlier in the year.