Oct. 13, 2017
By Megan Golden
MADISON, Wis. -- The University of Notre Dame women's cross country team ran to 24th place as a team in the 6,000m race at the Nuttycombe Invitational on Friday. The Irish were led by junior Annie Heffernan who finished 29th overall with a 20:22.1 mark at Zimmer Championship Course.
Following the Joe Piane Invitational two weeks prior, the Irish competed against a field of 32 teams, including 15 top-30 squads.
Heffernan's time was the third-best of her career, coming just shy of her marks at the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships (20.05.0) and 2016 NCAA Great Lakes Regionals (20:19.3).
Freshman AnnaSophia Keller ran her first collegiate 6,000m, recording a time of 21:03.1 and 84th place overall. Keller was followed by junior Rachel DaDamio (21:18.4), freshman Claudia Magnussen (21:59.7) and senior Kaitlin Frei (22:02.9), who rounded out the top five. Frei improved her time at the meet by 1:16.5 from 2016 to 2017.
The Irish finished fourth out of five Atlantic Coast Conference teams. NC State (third), Syracuse (18th) and Virginia (21st) were ahead of Notre Dame in the final standings, while Florida State (28th) fell behind the Irish.
Notre Dame will compete at the ACC Championships on Oct. 27 at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.
"Today's performance sets us up well for the ACC meet in two weeks," Sparks said. "Annie Heffernan is quickly realizing she can run with anyone in the conference."
Top Irish Finishers
Women's A Race
- Annie Heffernan - 20:22.1
- AnnaSophia Keller - 21:03.1
- Rachel DaDamio - 21:18.4
- Claudia Magnussen - 21:59.7
- Kaitlin Frei - 22:02.9
- Jessica Harris - 22:35.1
Women's B Race:
Coming Up Next --ND--
The Irish men's team is scheduled to compete at noon ET on Saturday at Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. The meet will serve as a precursor to the upcoming Atlantic Coast Conference Championships at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville. Should the Irish continue to advance through the national championships, they would race on the exact same course for a third time this season.
"We will get a preview of the ACC meet while at Louisville," Notre Dame assistant coach Sean Carlson said. "The ACC meet is held on the same course, and there will be some ACC schools at the meet this weekend. The men are looking to use this weekend to build momentum going into the ACC Championships."
For behind-the-scenes coverage of the Irish cross country program, follow @NDXCTF on Twitter and @NDXCTF on Instagram.