Sept. 29, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame has announced the complete list of entrants for the 53rd running of the Notre Dame Invitational cross country meet to be held at the nine-hole Notre Dame Golf Course on the Notre Dame campus on Friday afternoon. The pool of teams lists seven ranked teams on the men's side, including Notre Dame (20th) and 12 ranked teams on the women's side.
The meet will kick off with the Gold Division women's and men's races at 2 p.m. (EDT) and 2:45 p.m., respectively, followed by the Blue Division women's race at 4:15 p.m. and the men's races at 5 p.m. Admission for the meet is free to the public.
A total of 60 schools will be sending teams to the Notre Dame Invitational, 19 of which are currently ranked in the top 30 of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) men's or women's polls. Top teams in the men's race includes No. 8-ranked Michigan, 10th-ranked Georgetown and No. 15-ranked New Mexico. On the women's side second-ranked Florida State, No. 7-ranked Princeton and eighth-ranked Michigan State will come into the competition as the top-ranked teams. Three schools will have both their men's and women's nationally-ranked squads in attendance on Friday: Florida State (No. 2 women/No. 24 men), Providence (No. 16 women/No. 18 men) and Michigan (No. 8 women/No. 8 men).
Notre Dame won the men's Blue Division race in 2007, while Rice won the women's Blue Division race. The Irish men's squad has won the Blue Division title 16 times, while Notre Dame's women have taken top honors six times since the women's race was added in 1987. Other previous Notre Dame Invitational winners who will be participating in Friday's Blue Division races include: Arizona men (one title in 2005), Michigan men (eight titles, last in 1999-shared), Eastern Michigan men (three titles, last in 1997), Georgetown men (one title in 1999-shared) and Michigan women (two titles, last in 2006). The Gold Division races will feature a mix of teams from NCAA Divisions I, II and III.
The Notre Dame Invitational is one of the nation's oldest and largest intercollegiate cross country meets. It was started in 1956 by legendary former Irish head coach Alex Wilson and has been run continuously ever since. The men's races originally began as four-mile events before being extended to five miles in 1968, with the 5K women's race being added in 1987.
Final results will be made available on www.und.com following the conclusion of Friday's races.