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    Men's and Women's Cross Country Teams Win The National Catholic Invitational

    FIGHTING IRISH Coach Piane before his 31st annual National Catholic Invitational.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Coach Piane before his 31st annual National Catholic Invitational.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Men's Results

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    Women's Results

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    Men's Division II Results

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    Women's Division II Results

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    Men's JV Results

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    Women's JV Results

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    NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame men's and women's cross country teams claimed the National Catholic Invitational crown for the second consecutive year Friday, at the Notre Dame Golf Course.

    The Notre Dame men scored 35 points, earning the title over second-place Marquette with 76 points to claim their 21st championship title since the race began in 1980. Dayton finished third place with a score of 76 points.

    Senior Dan Jackson (Dexter HS, Ann Arbor, Mich.) finished the five-mile race second individually crossing the line in 24:10, followed by sophomore J.P. Malette (Assumption College Catholic, Windsor, Ontario) stopped the clock at 24:53 to finish fifth. Sophomore Jeremy Rae (Lakeshore Catholic, Fort Erie, Ontario) and freshman Martin Grady (Fenwick HS, Burr Ridge, Ill.) finished eighth and ninth in 25:00 and 25:11, respectively. Senior Ryan Gamboa (Upland HS, Upland, Calif.) crossed the line in 25:14 to finish 11th overall.

    "It was the most competitive National Catholic meet we have had in 10 years", says men's head coach Joe Piane. "I am thrilled with how Dan Jackson raced. He finished an entire minute faster than last year."

    The Notre Dame women's team claimed the title scoring 41 points. The women have been champions in the National Catholic Invitational eight of the past 10 years and won their 17th overall title since the women's race was added in 1984. Dayton finished second with 86 points and Marquette University in third, scoring a total of 108 points. Bellarmine scored 76 points and was the Division II champions.

    Freshman Meg Ryan (Fairfield Warde HS, Fairfield, Conn.) made her Notre Dame cross country debut with an individual title finishing the 5-kilometer race in 17:37. Ryan is the fourth consecutive Irish women's runner to claim the crown. Senior Erica Watson (Noblesville HS, Noblesville, Ind.) and junior Rachel Velarde (Eldorado HS, Albuquerque, N.M.) finished at the eight and nine spots in 18:04 and 18:05.

    Crossing the line together were sophomore Rebecca Tracy (Barrington HS, Barrington, Ill.) and freshman Kelly Curran (Bloomington Central Catholic, Bloomington, Ill.) in 18:05, followed closely by freshman Alexa Aragon (Billings Senior, Billings, Mont.) and junior Susanna Sullivan (George Mason, Falls Church, Va.) in 18:08.

    "It was nice to start off with a race that was competitive and challenging," says head coach Tim Connelly. "We need to keep moving forward and improving each day to become a national-caliber team. I am pleased with how Meg Ryan ran and I thought she had a great collegiate debut."

    The Irish will host the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 1. The meet includes five different races beginning with the women's gold race at 2:00 p.m., followed by the men's gold at 2:45 p.m., the open at 3:30 p.m., the women's blue event at 4:15 p.m. with the men's blue race to conclude the invitational at 5:00 p.m.

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