Sept. 20, 2002
It was a damp, dark day at the Burke Memorial Golf Course on Notre Dame's campus Friday afternoon. Rain fell during most of the National Catholic Championships, but even the dark weather could not dim the bright future of both Notre Dame cross country teams. The fifth-ranked women's team did not enter many of its top eight runners, but still dominated the field to finish first. The 20th-ranked men also cruised to a win with all seven runners finishing in the top 15.
Junior Katie Wales ended up leading the Irish women's team on Friday, earning the top individual effort of her career with a third-place finish (18:08). Wales was just eight seconds behind the individual winner, Kim Hemstreet from Detroit Mercy.
Close behind Wales was a strong pack of Irish harriers, with rookie Stephanie Madia taking fourth place in her first collegiate race. Junior Megan Johnson took fifth place, followed by freshman Jean Marinangeli (sixth), freshman Lori King (eighth), junior Rachel Endress (ninth), senior Emily Showman (10th) and senior Muffy Schmidt (11th).
The women's team regained the title that Marquette claimed last year, giving the Irish women National Catholic team victories in nine of the last 11 years.
The men's team enjoyed another individual title from junior Todd Mobley. An All-American in 2001, Mobley already has two individual victories on his resume this season and looks fully prepared to assume the leadership role for Notre Dame in 2002.
Mobley's victory gives the Irish their sixth consecutive individual title in the National Catholic, dating back to 1996. The Irish extended their National Catholic Championship team title streak to seven years, and Notre Dame has won 14 of the 23 competitions.
Although Mobley won the race, he was not alone on the championship course. Freshman Tim Moore ran stride for stride with his teammate for the entire race, finishing just behind Mobley in second. Senior John Keane was third, just four seconds behind, with junior Brian Kerwin (fourth), junior David Alber (fifth) and freshman Kaleb Van Ort (sixth) in close pursuit. Junior Kevin Somok crossed the finish line in ninth place to round out the Irish finishes.
Notre Dame also represented itself well in the JV race. Sophomore Eric Morrison won the men's JV race, followed by six Irish teammates in row. The women's team was equally dominate in their JV race, as Kerry Meagher took the individual win followed by eight teammates.