Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Women Finish Third, Men Ninth In Competitive Pre-National Meet

Oct. 18, 2003

WATERLOO, Iowa – The fifth-ranked Notre Dame women’s cross country team finished third, while the #15 Irish men were ninth against ultra-competitive fields at the Pre-National Meet Saturday afternoon at Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course and Byrnes Park. Notre Dame had a total of four harriers finish in the top 20 of their respective races.

The Pre-National Meet gives teams an opportunity to compete on the same course that plays host to the NCAA Championships, slated for Nov. 24. This attracts scores of top teams, and this year’s Pre-Nationals featured 43 nationally-ranked squads competing. Both the men’s and women’s fields were split into two races — purple and gold. Notre Dame’s women competed in the purple race, while the men ran in the gold event.

The women finished with a score of 127, behind #1 Brigham Young (86) and North Carolina (99) and just ahead of #22 Michigan (135), an NCAA Great Lakes Regional foe. Four other top-25 teams followed the Wolverines, including BIG EAST foe Georgetown, in eighth. A total of 32 teams participated in the race.

Sophomore Molly Huddle (Elmira, N.Y./Notre Dame H.S.) led the way, crossing the line in 10th, fourth in an eight-person pack that finished in a five-second flurry. At the midway point of the race, just three competitors were ahead of Huddle, though she was in a pack of 10, running 20 seconds behind race leader and eventual winner (with a victory margin of 32 seconds) Shalane Flanagan of North Carolina. Huddle now has finished in the top 10 in each of her seven career meets, including a sixth-place performance in last year’s NCAA Championships.

Junior Kerry Meagher (Allentown, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic H.S.) was two spots and one second behind Huddle after not competing in the meet a year ago. Junior Lauren King (Toronto, Ontario/Lawrence Park Coll. Inst.) was in the next group of runners, ending up 19th, 10 seconds behind Meagher. Senior Megan Johnson (Seattle, Wash./Seattle Prep School) turned in a 29th-place finish, 17 seconds behind King, while sophomore Stephanie Madia (Wexford, Pa./North Alleghany H.S.) completed the scoring, in 57th.

Notre Dame’s men’s team had a score of 276, finishing behind champion #5 Colorado and seven other top-25 teams. Georgia, ranked 20th, was eighth with a 258, while BIG EAST rival #14 Georgetown was fourth.

Sophomore Tim Moore (Novi, Mich./Novi H.S.) was the top Irish finisher, in 16th. He crossed the line within four seconds of the seven harriers directly in front of him. A year ago, Moore finished 22nd in the meet.

The next three Notre Dame finishers ran most of the race together, ending within seven seconds and 11 places of each other. Sophomore Kaleb Van Ort (Waterloo, Ind./DeKalb H.S.) was 53rd, while three seconds and six spots behind him was junior Sean O’Donnell (Kansas City, Mo./Rockhurst H.S.). Ending in 64th was senior Todd Mobley (West Bloomfield, Mich./Walled Lake Central H.S.). Freshman Kurt Benninger (Chepstow, Ontario/Walkerton D.S.S.) completed the scoring, in 88th.

Eight Irish harriers participated in the open races, with a pair of men posting top-15 results. Junior Eric Morrison (Ancaster, Ontario/St. Mary’s H.S.) finished 12th, while junior Ryan Johnson (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb H.S.) was 15th. Leading the Irish in the women’s race was sophomore Elizabeth Webster (Dearborn, Mich./Divine Child H.S.), who was 41st.

Notre Dame will next be in action on Oct. 31 at the BIG EAST Championships in Van Cortland Park, N.Y. The Irish men were fourth in the meet last season after winning three of the previous five championships. The Notre Dame women won their first BIG EAST title in 2002, with King and Huddle taking the top two spots.

Pre-National Meet

WOMEN — Purple Race


1. #1 Brigham Young — 86

2. North Carolina — 99

3. #5 Notre Dame — 127

4. #22 Michigan — 135

5. #16 Northern Arizona — 177

6. #23 Princeton — 179

7. #8 Georgetown — 214

8. #25 Nebraska — 305

9. UC Santa Barbara — 327

10. Baylor 332


1. Shalane Flanagan (North Carolina) — 19:29.5

10. Molly Huddle (Notre Dame) — 20:40

12. Kerry Meagher (ND) — 20:41

19. Lauren King (ND) — 20:51

29. Megan Johnson (ND) — 21:08

57. Stephanie Madia (ND) — 21:38

87. Jean Marinangeli (ND) — 21:59

115. Katie Wales (ND) 22:16

MEN — Gold Race

1. #5 Colorado — 109

2. #3 Northern Arizona — 114

3. #11 Ohio State — 141

4. #14 Georgetown — 201

5. #19 Arizona — 202

6. #21 North Carolina State — 217

7. #7 Oregon — 236

8. #20 Georgia — 258

9. #15 Notre Dame — 276

10. Kansas — 348


1. Dathan Ritzenhein (Colorado) — 23:18

16. Tim Moore (ND) — 23:55

53. Kaleb Van Ort (ND) 24:34

59. Sean O’Donnell (ND) 24:37

64. Todd Mobley (ND) 24:41

89. Kurt Benninger (ND) 24:58

146. David Alber (ND) 25:28

191. Brian Kerwin (ND) 25:58

WOMEN — Open Race

1. Maria Sandoval (Oregon) 20:39

41. Elizabeth Webster (ND) 22:55

56. Christine Arnerich (ND) 23:17

59. Jenny Walls (ND) 23:26.5

78. Katie DeRusso (ND) 24:11

MEN — Open Race

1. Brett Gotcher (Stanford) 24:35

12. Eric Morrison (ND) 25:14

15. Ryan Johnson (ND) 25:21

35. Kevin Somik (ND) 25:56

57. Terry Lennon (ND) 26:27