Irish Women Finish 15th; Men 28th At NCAA Championships|
Nov. 17, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Notre Dame men's and women's cross country teams concluded its 2012 season at the NCAA Championships Saturday (Nov. 17) at the E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park, finishing 28th and 15th, respectively.
The 15th place finish for the women's squad was the highest showing since 2005, when the Irish took seventh. Notre Dame was led by a wave of runners that crossed the finish line together as senior Rebecca Tracy (96th-20:47), sophomore Gabby Gonzales (97th- 20:47) and junior Alexa Aragon (98th-20:47) all finished less than a second apart.
Junior Kelly Curran was not far behind stopping the clock at 20:48 in 100th place, while senior Jessica Rydberg finished 144th with a time of 21:04. Freshman Molly Seidel (217th -21:39) and junior Meg Ryan (238th-21:57) rounded out the field for the Irish.
The Irish gained a measure of revenge on Michigan State from last week's NCAA Great Lakes Regional, as Notre Dame finished one spot ahead of the Spartans Saturday after finishing one spot behind last Friday.
Notre Dame finished just 48 point behind NCAA Great Lakes Region champion Michigan, who finished fifth out of the 31 teams.
The Irish made their second straight appearance in the championship meet as a team. Since beginning the team in 1980, the Irish have had a participant in the race on 14 occasions and boast seven top-20 finishes and three top-three finishes.
The University of Oregon won its third NCAA Championship in program history. The Ducks earned their spot after winning the Pac-12 and NCAA West title, the first time they have done so since 1995. The Ducks held off Notre Dame's BIG EAST foe, Providence, as the Friars finished second trailing by 69 points.
Betsy Saina from Iowa State won the women's championship with a time of 19:27 in the six-kilometer event. Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino (2nd-19:28) and Oregon's Jordan Hasay (3rd-19:28) followed close behind. Hasay was the national runner-up a year ago and took third as a sophomore in 2010.
The men's team was without all-BIG EAST performer and track and field All-American Jeremy Rae, who was out with injury, but saw a strong performance from junior Martin Grady who finished 52nd with a time of 30:20.
Senior J.P. Malette crossed the line at 30:53 finishing in 117th place and junior Walter Schafer was the third Irish in, stopping the clock at 31:02 and finishing 136th. Sophomore Jake Kildoo finished 184th with a time of 31:28 and juniors DJ Thornton (239th -32:46) and Patrick Lesiewicz (242th -32:55) rounded out the field for Notre Dame.
The Irish men also gained some measure of revenge on No. 30 Michigan State (31st) as the Spartans topped Notre Dame by nine points at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional race.
Notre Dame made its third-straight appearance in the championship meet as a team. The Irish have now had a participant in the race 58 times since 1938 and have participated as a team 47 times.
Oklahoma State men's team won it's fourth title in program history and marked it's third within the last four years after posting it's 72-point team score, holding off last year's champion, Wisconsin, by 63 points.
Texas Tech's Kennedy Kithuka was the top-finisher and finished the 10-kilometer event with a time of 28:31. A pair of Arizona runners followed as Stephen Sambu finished second (28:38) and 2011 medalist Lawi Lalang finished third (28:51).
The teams will now take a brief recess before the first indoor track and field meet of the 2012-13 season, the Blue & Gold Invitational, begins at 5 p.m. (ET) Dec. 7 at Loftus Sports Center.
Notre Dame (Men) 10-Kilometer (28th- 591 points)
Notre Dame (Women) 6-Kilometer (15th- 394 points)