Nov. 1, 2002
The University of Notre Dame women’s cross country team won its first-ever BIG EAST Championship on Friday afternoon with a one-point victory over defending champ Georgetown at Franklin Park in Boston, Mass.
The Irish were led by 2001 All-American Lauren King in first place. She is the first women’s cross country runner to win the individual BIG EAST title since the Irish joined the conference in 1995. Five seconds behind Lauren King was freshman all star Molly Huddle, taking second place as the only rookie in the top 10. King finished in 20:23, while Huddle completed the course in 20:28 – out-sprinting West Virginia’s Megan Metcalfe at the finish.
Not far behind the Irish lead duo was senior Jennifer Handley, continuing her tradition of top efforts at the BIG EAST meet. Handley finished 12th, earning all-BIG EAST honors for the third time in her career (21:02).
Another talented rookie scored as the Irish fourth runner, as Lori King came in 23rd place (21:32), followed by classmate Stephanie Madia in 31st (21:56) to round out the top five.
Senior Ana Morales continued to run well in her final season, taking 38th place in 22:14. Other Irish finishes included Katie Wales (49th, 22:38) and Jean Marinangeli (56th, 22:50).
The men’s team entered the meet without its top runner this season, but the Irish stepped up to finish in fourth place with 132 points behind three top-ranked teams – Villanova (39), Providence (49) and Georgetown (55). Freshman Tim Moore led the Notre Dame effort with a 10th-place all-BIG EAST finish in 24:08. Moore ran to the top freshman finish and was the only rookie in the top 15.
Behind Moore was sophomore Eric Morrison, continuing his breakout cross country season, in 28th place. Senior John Keane was side-by-side with Morrison, taking 29th place.
Junior David Alber ended up as the fourth runner for the Irish in 32nd place (25:11) and sophomore Ryan Johnson was fifth on the team in 33rd (25:12).
Brain Kerwin (40th) and Kevin Somok (41st) rounded out the top seven for the Notre Dame men.
Both teams get a week to train up for the Great Lakes Regional in West Lafayette, Ind., on Nov. 16 – their shot to claim an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, or run well enough to receive and at-large bid.