Sept. 18, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Irish men's and women's cross country teams won the National Catholic Championship team crowns Friday afternoon at the Notre Dame Golf Course.
The Notre Dame men earned 24 points, easily earning the title over second-place Xavier with 119. Bellarmine finished third with 120 points and won the Division 2 crown.
Jake Walker finished second individually with a time of 24:59.1, just behind DePaul's Matt Graham in first at 24:53.9.
Dan Jackson finished fourth for the Irish in 25:15.0, followed by Jordan Carlson in fifth at 25:24.1. Ryan Gamboa crossed the line in 25:30.7 to finish sixth, Joe Miller finished seventh in 25:33.7 and Ryan Jacobs clocked in at 25:36.4 to finish eighth.
The Irish women breezed to the women's crown with 20 total points. Canisius College finished second with 129 points and DePaul was third with 150.
Ferguson won her second straight National Catholic title with a time of 17:33.1. Marissa Treece finished third in 17:56.5, just ahead of Erica Watson in fourth at 18:04.4 and Rachel Velarde in fifth with a time of 18:05.0. Beth Tacl clocked in at 18:12.8 to finish seventh, Rebecca Tracy finished eighth in 18:20.9 and Theresa Cattuna crossed the line in 18:24.1 to finish ninth. Jessica Rydberg finished 13th with a time of 18:54.8 and Kari Johnson was 28th in 19:17.1.
This is the 20th title for the Irish men and 16th for the women.
The National Catholic Championship was started by current Notre Dame men's cross country coach Joe Piane in 1980. The meet premiered as an event featuring prominent Catholic institutions from throughout the United States, with a women's race being added in 1984. The annual event has continued from there, with host Notre Dame showing success throughout the competitions tenure.
The Irish will take two weeks off before hosting the Notre Dame Invitational Oct. 2 at the Notre Dame Golf Course.