Sept. 18, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Irish men's and women's cross country teams will host the 29th Annual National Catholic Championship Friday at the nine-hole Notre Dame Golf Course. The women's 5K race kicks off at 4:15 p.m. (EDT) with the men's five-mile race following at 5 p.m. (EDT).
The National Catholic Championship was started by current Notre Dame men's cross country coach Joe Piane in 1980. The meet premiered as an event featuring prominent Catholic institutions from throughout the United States, with a women's race being added in 1984. The annual event has continued from there, with host Notre Dame showing success throughout the competitions tenure. The Notre Dame men have won 19 team titles in the first 28 years of the meet, including 17 of the past 20 championships, while the Irish women have earned 14 team titles, all in the past 16 years. Notre Dame sophomore Marissa Treece is the defending women's champion, while Dayton's Mike Andersen took home the 2007 men's title.
The Irish men hope to win their third consecutive team title, while the women are looking to extend their six-year reign atop the leaderboard.
The men enter this week's contest ranked 20th nationally and third in the Great Lakes Region. The women are currently fourth regionally and received several national votes.
The lineup for the Irish men on Friday includes several new faces to the Notre Dame program. The women's runners will be quite young as well, but include Irish veterans Treece, Lindsey Ferguson, Heidi Rocha and Beth Tacl.
Results from Friday's races will be available at www.und.com following the meet.