Oct. 12, 2012
MADISON, Wis. - Facing a wave of 37 nationally-ranked teams, the Notre Dame women’s and men’s cross country teams finished 12th and 26th, respectively, Friday afternoon (Oct. 12) at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis.
Senior Jeremy Rae (Fort Erie, ONT) made his presence felt among the nation’s most elite runners as he finished 14th out of 316 competitors with a time of 23:40 in the men’s championship eight-kilometer race. Rae was just 37 seconds behind Arizona sophomore Lawi Lalang, who defended his title from last year’s race and his first-place finish at the 2011 NCAA National Championship.
Senior Rebecca Tracy (Barrington, III.) led No. 14 Notre Dame to its 12th place finish in a field of 49 squads placing 56th with a 20:32 in the six-kilometer race. Not far behind was junior Kelly Curran (Bloomington, III.) as she crossed the finish line just five seconds behind Tracy in 65th place with a time of 20:37.
Freshman Molly Seidel (Hartland, Wis.) kept a close distance to Curran sprinting in with a time of 20:41 for 78th place.
Sophomore Gabby Gonzales (Florence, KY) placed 127th stopping the clock in 20:57, while senior Jessica Rydberg (Pinetop, Ariz.) rounded out the top-five scoring positions for the Irish finishing in 142nd with a 21:03 effort.
Cal Poly freshman Laura Hollander was the top finisher in the women’s race with a time of 19:33. Hollander beat out senior Betsy Saina (19:35) from Iowa State by just a few strides. Weber State’s Amber Henry (19:43), Iowa State’s Meaghan Nelson (19:45) and Stanford’s Kathy Kroeger (19:46) rounded out the top five.
Iowa State won the women’s race as they beat out second-place Stanford by 72 points. The Cardinals gave no other chances for advancement from any of the remaining squads as they held a 60-point margin over third-place Arizona.
The Notre Dame women’s team topped five ranked teams, most notably No. 12 Vanderbilt who finished 18th. The Irish trailed 11th-place New Mexico (ranked 19th) by 11 points and held off No. 15 Toledo by a single point. A total of 327 competed in the women’s race.
"Despite not having anyone run a particularly great race individually the result as a whole isn't bad," said head coach Tim Connelly. "In a field this large the dynamics of the race are changed. I thought we hung around and ended up with a solid race. We didn't hurt ourselves overall in the rankings and we should pick up a few at-large points that will be crucial for placement at the national meet."
On the men’s side, No. 13 Notre Dame placed 26th out of the 46 teams representing the field, beating two ranked foes, No. 29 Virginia and No. 30 Missouri. Notre Dame fell just seven points behind 25th -place Arizona and faired 24 points better than No. 29 Virginia who finished 27th.
Stanford was the top team of the day on the men’s side as all five scored positions finished in the top-50. Iona placed second and trailed Stanford by 10 points. Oklahoma gathered a third place finish trailing the Sooners by 21 points.
Following right behind his Arizona teammate, Lalang, senior Stephen Sambu placed second overall in the men’s race with a 23:07. Junior Matt Gillespie from Iona could not quite keep up with the Sun Devil duo, but nevertheless held off Texas A&M’s senior Henry Lelei (23:26) by finishing with a 23:25. Senior Maverick Darling from Wisconsin gave chase to Lelei, but could not lean to the line fast enough as he was edged out with his 23:28 effort.
Junior Martin Grady (Burr Ridge, III.) was the second Irish jersey to cross the finish line as he stopped the clock in 24:08 with a 72th place finish.
Senior Johnathan Shawel (Placentia, Calif.) ran a 24:17 time and placed in 106th place.
Junior Walter Schafer (Centennial, Colo.) was the next runner in for the Irish with a 24:47 time finishing in 206th place, while senior Jeff MacMillan, (Mattawan, Mich.) was 232nd with a time of 24:59.
"While we are disappointed in our finish, I was very pleased with how Jeremy ran today," said head coach Joe Piane. "He took advantage of the opportunities he was given throughout the race and came away with a great result. As a team we must get more aggressive from the beginning of the race. That will need to start at the BIG EAST Championship for us to have a chance."
Though the men did not field a B race team, junior Patrick Lesiewicz (Schaumburg, III.) represented Notre Dame as the top runner finishing 18th with a 24:49.
Sophomore Jason Hoard (Carmel, Ind.) ran to a 30th place finish with a 25:03 and junior D.J. Thornton (Rahway, N.J.) finished in 25:25 for 52nd place.
Wisconsin salvaged their unexpected finish in the men’s race by winning the men’s open as they had three runners in the top-10 scored positions. Syracuse finished second behind the Badgers with a 12-point margin.
Junior Michael Atchoo from Stanford won the open-division with a 24:20 as he fanned away Rico Loy, (24:23) an unattached runner.
Sophomore Hannah Eckstein (Middletown, NJ) led the charge for Notre Dame in the women’s open finishing sixth out of 107 runners with a time of 21:11.
Carolyn Baskir from Duke won the women’s open with a 20:59 as freshman Meredith Speakman (21:03) gave chase.
The women’s team finished third out of eight teams in the open division, just seven points behind second place Minnesota and eight points behind BYU.
Junior Meg Ryan (Fairfield, Conn.) placed 17th with a 21:19 time.
Sophomore Emily Frydrych (Wilmington, Del.) was 30th with a 21:38 and sophomore Katherine Stulz (Brecksville, Ohio) helped pace finishing 33rd, stopping the clock at 21:40.
Senior Angela Ryck (Penfield, NY) rounded out the top five for the Irish as she ran a 21:51, good for a 39th-place finish.
Notre Dame will take a brief recess in competition before heading to Bronx, NY for the BIG EAST Championships on Friday, Oct. 26.
Women's Team Standings (49 Teams)
Women's Individual Standings (327 Runners)
Men's Team Standings (46 Teams)
Men's Individual Standings (316 Runners)
Women's Open Team Standings (9 Teams)
Women's Open Individual Standings (107 Runners)