Sept. 1, 2017
By Megan Golden
VALPARAISO, Ind. -- The University of Notre Dame men’s cross country team opened its 2017 campaign with its second consecutive perfect score at the Crusader Open on Friday. Notre Dame’s women’s squad placed second overall at the meet.
Freshman Yared Nuguse -- one of eight Irish freshmen to make their Notre Dame debuts in the meet -- finished in first place individually with a time of 18:09.3. Nuguse was followed by sophomore Ryan Schweizer (2nd, 18:14.5), freshman Vincent Zona (3rd, 18:16.3), sophomore Tyler Keslin (4th, 18:16.7) and senior Conor Sheryak (5th, 18:17.8).
The Irish men topped the likes of Purdue and Valparaiso.
“I was impressed with how our freshmen ran and fit into our pack racing,” Irish assistant coach Sean Carlson said. “This team has made huge jumps from a year ago in cross country, and I am excited to see us continue to grow throughout the season.”
Two additional new faces competed with the men’s squad as graduate student transfers Sheryak and Bradley Wattleworth (18:31.9) also raced. Junior co-captain Kevin Pulliam (6th, 18:20.6) and freshman Andrew Alexander (8th, 18:36.1) rounded out Notre Dame’s men’s finishers.
The No. 8-ranked women’s team was led by 11-time high school state champion Annasophia Keller, who raced to a mark of 17:14.2. Keller’s time was good for second place overall in a meet against Valparaiso, Purdue and Western Michigan.
Keller was followed immediately by Kaitlin Frei, the lone senior in the Irish lineup, who finished third in 17:37.4. Freshman Claudia Magnussen (6th, 17:56.5), sophomore Emily Franz (14th, 18:45.9), freshman Madison Ronzone (15th, 18:58.8) and freshman Brooke Trossen (16th, 18:59.6) rounded out the women’s side.
Coming Up Next
Notre Dame returns to action on Sept. 15, when it hosts the National Catholic Invitational at Burke Golf Course. Admission is free and open to the public.
For behind-the-scenes coverage of the Irish cross country program, follow @NDXCTF on Twitter and @NDXCTF on Instagram.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women's soccer and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary's College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.