Sept. 23, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame men's and women's cross country teams cruised to first-place finishes last Friday, Sept. 18 at the National Catholic Championships.
The men finished with 23 points, outdistancing second-place Loyola Chicago (53 points) and third-place Marquette (166 points), to earn their fourth consecutive National Catholic crown. Notre Dame sophomore Ryan Shay (Central Lake, Mich.) won his second-straight National Catholic individual championship with a time of 23:46.
On the women's side, the Irish finished with 47 points as they placed six runners in the top 20 and captured their third consecutive National Catholic title. Loyola Chicago was second with 69 points and Marquette was third with 81 points. Notre Dame junior JoAnna Deeter (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) pulled away from the rest of the field and finished first with a time of 17:25, becoming the first female ever to win three consecutive National Catholic individual championships.
National Catholic Championships Recap: On the men's side, Notre Dame placed six in the top 10 and seven in the top 15 to dominate the race. Freshman Luke Watson (Stillwater, Minn.) placed in the top 10 for the second-straight meet after placing second among Irish runners and fourth overall with a time of 24:24. Right on his heels in fifth place with a time of 24:29 was senior Antonio Arce (Palmdale, Calif.), who for the second meet in a row, placed among the race's top 10 runners. Right behind Arce in sixth and seventh place were seniors Tim Engelhardt (East Syracuse, N.Y.) and Ryan Maxwell (Staten Island, N.Y.) who both finished with a time of 24:30. Rounding out the top 10 was sophomore Ted Higgins (Naperville, Ill.) whose time of 24:37 earned him a 10th-place finish. Freshman Marc Striowski (Toronto, Ontario) ran another strong race with a 15th place.
The Irish harriers also dominated the men's division of the junior varsity race, winning five of the top six places. Junior Sean McManus (Hernando, Fla.) won the JV race with a time of 25:28. Freshman Tom Lennon (Hohokus, N.J.) placed third in his first collegiate race with a time of 25:30, while classmate Pat Conway (Springfield, Va.) finished right behind him in fourth-place with a time of 25:35. Seniors Ryan Blaney (Toms River, N.J.) and Mike Dreznes (Oak Forest, Ill.) rounded out the top five for the Irish as they placed fifth and sixth overall with times of 25:37 and 25:39 respectively.
On the women's side, junior Patti Rice (Mishawaka, Ind.) raced to her second top-five finish in as many meets when she finished second among Irish runners and fourth overall with a time of 18:12. Running for the first time this season, junior Alison Klemmer (Troy, Mich.) barely missed finishing in the top 10, placing 11th with a time of 18:13. Sophomore Erin Olson (Eden Prarie, Minn.) captured 13th place, while Erin Luby (Inverness, Ill.) rounded out the Irish top five runners with a 16th-place finish.
The Irish women excelled in the junior varsity division as well. Junior Valerie Siqueira (Mishawaka, Ind.) took home first-place honors with a time of 19:02. In hot pursuit was sophomore Leanne Brady (Trumbull, Conn.) in fifth place with a time of 19:15. In her first collegiate race, freshman Kristin Wunder (Cicero, Indiana) finished sixth overall with a time of 19:20 and sophomore Heather O'Brien (Bellevue, Wash.) placed eighth.
Notre Dame Invitational: The Notre Dame Invitational, in its 43rd year as a showcase of the nation's collegiate talent, will take place Friday, October 2. Initiated by former Irish coach Alex Wilson in 1956, the meet is one of the oldest and largest cross country invitationals in the country. This year's races will begin at 3:30 p.m. with a JV division race, followed by the women's division at 4:15 p.m. and the men's competition at 5:00 p.m.
Both the Notre Dame men's and women's teams hope to recapture the team crowns, which the men last won in 1995 and the women last won in 1996. Irish junior JoAnna Deeter will attempt to capture her second individual women's championship in three tries and try to become the first female runner to ever win two titles at the event.