Nov. 15, 2013
MADISON, Wis. --- The University of Notre Dame cross country teams return from the Great Lakes NCAA Regional Championships after three top-10 individual performances helped the men to a third place finish and the women to a fourth place finish.
Going into the meet, men's head coach Joe Piane said he hoped to keep the team score below 100 points and to have two of his runners place in the top 10, and the Irish didn't disappoint on either front. Fifth-year student Jeremy Rae finished fifth in the 10-kilometer race with a time of 30:22 while senior Martin Grady came in just behind him with a time of 30:27 to place sixth. The team's overall score was just 74 points, only four points above the first place team, Michigan.
"We did very well," Piane said. "It was close. On another day, we might have been able to win it. There were five points separating four teams, so anyone could have won it. That's amazing. It was a great effort with five solid performances. They did well, and they came out of it healthy, which is really important. I can't ask for more."
Senior Kelly Curran ran a stellar race for the Notre Dame women, finishing the six-kilometer race in third place (20:14). Her low score helped the Irish to their fourth-place finish with an overall score of 134 points.
Women's head coach Tim Connelly says the overall score was disappointing in comparison with where he knows his team can be, but also that Curran's effort was a strong highlight of the day.
"Kelly had a great day. She ran a great race. So we had a couple really good performances, just not five of them," Connelly said. "We're still not firing on all cylinders unfortunately. We have to compete better when we get in difficult situations."
Both teams still don't know if they will be competing at the NCAA Championships, as they did not secure the automatic bid that comes with a first- or second-place finish. However, there is still the possibility that each team will receive an at-large bid, which will be announced tomorrow.
Senior J.P. Malette was the third man through for the Irish, finishing in 14th place with a time of 30:42. Sophomore Michael Clevenger and junior Jake Kildoo rounded out the top five for the Irish, with 22nd (30:55) and 27th (31:10) place finishes, respectively.
For the women, senior Alexa Aragon finished 20th with a time of 20:49. Sophomore Molly Seidel came in 33rd place (21:11). With a time of 21:18, junior Gabby Gonzales finished 37th, and junior Hannah Eckstein came in 41st place with a time of 21:24.
If either team receives an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships, they will compete next Saturday, Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind., at the famous Lavern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.
--Lauren Chval, Media Relations Assistant
Men's Team Results (31 Teams)
3. Notre Dame - 74 Points
Men's Individual Results (207 Runners)
5. Jeremy Rae - 30:22
6. Martin Grady - 30:27
14. J.P. Malette - 30:42
22. Michael Clevenger - 30:55
27. Jake Kildoo - 31:10
62. Walter Schafer - 31:57
66. Timothy Ball - 32:10
Women's Team Results (33 Teams)
4. Notre Dame - 134 Points
Women's Individual Results (227 Runners)
3. Kelly Curran - 20:14
20. Alexa Aragon - 20:49
33. Molly Seidel - 21:11
37. Gabby Gonzales - 21:18
41. Hannah Eckstein - 21:24
62. Emily Frydrych - 21:49
110. Danielle Aragon - 22:41