Nov. 20, 2006
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -
Racing under gray skies on a muddy track, the Notre Dame men's cross country team finished 19th at the 2006 NCAA Championship, which was held Monday afternoon in Terre Haute, Ind., on the LaVern Gibson Championship Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. The Irish scored 495 points in the meet en route to their 41st top-20 finish in 43 trips to the NCAA finals. Colorado won the men's team title with 94 points to outdistance defending national champion Wisconsin (142) and Iona (172).
Sophomore Patrick Smyth (Salt Lake City, Utah/Judge Memorial) was Notre Dame's top individual runner, finishing 36th while covering the 10,000-meter course in 31:41.7. The top 35 finishers (as well as the top 35 Americans) in the NCAA Championship field are accorded All-America honors, so it appears Smyth is well-positioned to pick up his first career All-America citation and become the 30th men's cross country All-American in school history (total of 47 awards). That would cap off an impressive second year for the Irish harrier, who also garnered his second all-BIG EAST Conference plaque and second all-Great Lakes Region certificate in the past month, not to mention posting four top-12 finishes in five races.
Senior Kurt Benninger (Chepstow, Ontario/Walkerton D.S.S.) was the No. 2 finisher for Notre Dame at this year's NCAA Championship, coming in 132nd (32:54.4). Junior Jake Watson (Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater Area) was 151st in the field (33:04.4), with freshman Jake Walker (Ellwood City, Pa./Lincoln) not far behind in 159th place (33:09.2). Senior Todd Ptacek (Benton Harbor, Mich./Lake Michigan Catholic) was the final Irish scorer with his 169th-place outing (33:15.8). BYU's Josh Rohatinsky won the men's individual crown in 30:44.9.
On the women's side, Notre Dame was represented at the NCAA Championship by junior two-time All-American Sunni Olding
(Minster, Ohio/Minster). She finished 142nd in the national field with a 6K time of 22:27.8. Texas Tech's Sally Kipyego placed first in 20:11.1, while Stanford successfully defended its women's team title with 195 points, easing past Colorado (223) and Michigan (233).
Monday's NCAA Championship closed out the 2006 cross country season for both Notre Dame squads. The Irish distance runners now will turn their attention to the 2006-07 indoor track & field campaign, which gets underway for Notre Dame on Dec. 1 with the annual Blue & Gold Invitational at the Loftus Sports Center.
-- ND --
Nov. 20, 2006
Terre Haute, Ind. LaVern Gibson Championship Course/Wabash Valley Family Sports Center
MEN'S 10,000-METER RACE
Team Results (top six of 31): 1. Colorado 94; 2. Wisconsin 142; 3. Iona 172; 4. Stanford 195; 5. (tie) Arkansas and Oregon 196; 19. NOTRE DAME 495.
Individuals (top five of 250 plus Notre Dame finishers): 1. Josh Rohatinsky (BYU) 30:44.9; 2. Neftalem Araia (Stanford) 30:52.6; 3. Jess Baumgartner (Southern Utah) 30:53.2; 4. Lopez Lomong (Northern Arizona) 30:59.8; 5. Martin Fagan (Providence) 31:01.0; 36. Patrick Smyth (Notre Dame) 31:41.7; 132. Kurt Benninger (Notre Dame) 32:54.4; 151. Jake Watson (Notre Dame) 33:04.4; 159. Jake Walker (Notre Dame) 33:09.2; 169. Todd Ptacek (Notre Dame) 33:15.8; 175. Brock Hagerman (Notre Dame) 33:23.9; 231. Brett Adams (Notre Dame) 34:20.6.
WOMEN'S 6,000-METER RACE
Team Results (top six of 36): 1. Stanford 195; 2. Colorado 223; 3. Michigan 233; 4. Wisconsin 262; 5. Arkansas 286; 6. Texas Tech 300.
Individuals (top five of 253 plus Notre Dame finisher): 1. Sally Kipyego (Texas Tech) 20:11.1; 2. Jenny Barringer (Colorado) 20:37.9; 3. Lindsay Donaldson (Yale) 20:42.7; 4. Arianna Lambie (Stanford) 20:43.8; 5. Julia Lucas (North Carolina State) 20:47.1; 142. Sunni Olding (Notre Dame) 22:27.8.