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    Irish Cross Country Hosts 48th-Annual Notre Dame Invitational On Friday

    FIGHTING IRISH Todd Mobley (right) and Tim Moore (left) should be among the race leaders on Friday at the Notre Dame Invitational.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Todd Mobley (right) and Tim Moore (left) should be among the race leaders on Friday at the Notre Dame Invitational.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Oct. 1, 2003

    The 48th-annual Notre Dame Invitational is set for this weekend at the Burke Memorial Golf Course on the west side of campus. One of the top non-conference meets in the Midwest this season, 19 ranked teams and over 70 men's and women's teams will visit campus this weekend for the event. The Notre Dame Invitational will being at 2:00 p.m. with the women's gold division race, followed by the men's gold division at 2:45 p.m.

    An open race will follow at 3:30 p.m. with both the men and women running together. The women's blue division race begins at 4:15 p.m., followed by the final race - the men's blue division at 5:00 p.m.

    Notre Dame women's team ascends to highest-ever ranking:

    The latest FinishLynx Cross Country Poll was released on Monday, Sept. 29, and the University of Notre Dame women's cross country team moved up one spot from third to second. The second-place ranking is the highest in school history for the women's cross country team. Notre Dame welcomes back six of its runners from the 2002 squad that finished third at the NCAA Championship in Terre Haute, Ind.

    Irish fans have yet to see the women's team at full strength this season as well. All-Americans Molly Huddle and Lauren King will be competing for the first time this season, along with senior Megan Johnson. The talented depth that head coach Tim Connelly has put together over the last four years has been put on display so far this season, as the Irish have easily won their first two meets of the season without three of their top runners competing.

    Top-flight field runs on campus this weekend:

    There will be 19 different nationally ranked teams in attendance at Friday's Notre Dame Invitational. Led by the second-ranked Notre Dame women, the women's blue division race features #20 Wake Forest, #25 Washington and #31 Duke - as well as California who is also receiving votes.

    The men's blue division is loaded with talented teams, with #7 Central Michigan, #12 Michigan, #25 Notre Dame and #29 Eastern Michigan. Division II #13 Truman State and #9 Hillsdale are running as well, along with Division III #1 North Central College and #3 Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

    The women's gold division race features Division II #14 Hillsdale and Division III #5 Calvin College. The men's gold division pits Division II #12 Mankato State, along with Division III #2 Calvin College and #5 Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

    Notre Dame line ups:

    Here is a quick rundown of Notre Dame's line up for the weekend - though it is still undetermined just who will run in either the gold or blue division races.

    WOMEN:

    Molly Huddle - Huddle will be making her first cross country appearance this season on Friday. She finished fourth at the 2002 ND Invite, her first collegiate cross country meet. The U.S. Junior 3,000-meter champion should be among the race leaders on Friday.

    Megan Johnson - The Irish are excited to get Megan Johnson back at full strength this season. The senior competed in four races last year, but never recaptured her form from 2001, when she was an all-BIG EAST performer by finishing 14th at the conference meet and 20th at the Great Lakes Regional.

    Lauren King - The 2002 BIG EAST individual champion, King is one of the elite cross country harriers in the country. She finished sixth in last season's ND Invite after winning the meet in 2001 - her first collegiate cross country competition.

    Amy Kohlmeier - Kohlmeier hopes to follow Huddle and Lauren King's example with a strong debut showing in the Notre Dame Invitational. One of the best prep distance runners in Ontario, she represented Canada at the 2001 World Cross Country Championships and won two medals at the '02 Canada Summer Games.

    Stephanie Madia - Madia had an immediate impact on the Notre Dame roster as a rookie last season, taking position as the number four runner. She took 71st at the Pre-National Meet last season, 23rd at the BIG EAST Championship and 25th at the Great Lakes Regional.

    Jean Marinangeli - Marinangeli was in and out of Notre Dame's top seven runners last season, posting a season-best seventh-place effort at the National Catholic. This season she is off to a strong start with a victory at the Valparaiso Invitational and a fourth-place effort at the National Catholic.

    Kerry Meagher - Meagher has worked hard at improving her skills on the cross country course. Notre Dame's 800 and 1,500-meter specialist during the track and field season, Meagher won her first collegiate cross country race two weeks ago at the National Catholic (a big step after winning the National Catholic JV race in 2002).

    Maggie Nelsen - Nelsen returns from an injury plagued season last year and is off to a very strong start in 2003. She finished second at both the National Catholic and Valparaiso Invitational to start the season and is a strong candidate to remain in Notre Dame's top eight runners.

    Katie Wales - Wales returns as one of Notre Dame's seven runners from the NCAA Championship a year ago. She placed 24th in last season's Notre Dame Invitational and took seventh at the National Catholic two weeks ago.

    Elizabeth Webster - Another track middle distance specialist, Webster has run well in the first two meets of the 2003 season, taking fourth at the Valparaiso Invitational and third at the National Catholic. She finished 89th in the Notre Dame Invitational gold division race last year.

    Notre Dame women's B team will include - Christi Arnerich, Katie DeRusso, Courtney Dobleman, Katie Ellgass, Sarah Glatt, Jackie Heap, Ann Mazur, Megan Peterson, Mary Phillips, Jennifer Richard, Brianne Schmidt, and Jenny Walls.

    MEN:

    David Alber - Alber is one of the most experienced veterans on the Irish men's cross country roster. He has run in two NCAA Championships and boasts at 38th-place finish at the 2001 Notre Dame Invitational.

    Kurt Benninger - Benninger will be making his Notre Dame debut on Friday. A two-time member of the Canadian Junior National Cross Country team, he won the 1,500 meters at the 2003 Canadian Junior National Championship.

    Ryan Johnson - Johnson has made steady improvement during his career with the Irish. He competed in his first NCAA Championship last season and finished second in the Notre Dame Invitational gold division race last season. He finished sixth the National Catholic two weeks ago.

    Brian Kerwin - Another veteran runner, Kerwin has appeared in two NCAA Championship races and placed 53rd at the 2002 Notre Dame Invitational. He ended up seventh in the '03 National Catholic.

    Todd Mobley - Mobley has been anxious to get back on the cross country course since his 2002 junior season was derailed due to a leg injury during the Pre-National Meet. He eventually returned to the team and gutted through the Great Lakes Regional and NCAA Championship but was forced out of track and field competition last year. Mobley should be among the race leaders this weekend.

    Tim Moore - Moore is looking for a follow up to a great freshman season in 2002. He debuted last year with two-consecutive second-place finishes (behind Mobley) at the adidas Invitational and National Catholic. He took sixth in the Notre Dame Invitational last year, then assumed the role of team leader in the absence of Mobley at the BIG EAST Championship, finishing 10th to earn all-conference accolades. This Friday will be Moore's first cross country race of the season.

    Eric Morrison - Morrison ran a 4:01 mile time in the Meyo Invitational last season and looks to continue his cross country improvement in 2003. Morrison won the National Catholic JV race last year and finished 36th in the Notre Dame Invite.

    Kevin Somok - Somok has been a valuable member of the team over the last two seasons. He placed 14th in the National Catholic last year and seventh in the ND Invite gold division race.

    Kaleb Van Ort - Van Ort got off to a very strong start as a rookie last season, placing eighth in both the Valparaiso Invitational and National Catholic. This season, he took second in the National Catholic two weeks ago.

    Others who could be in action for the men's team include Vinny Ambrico, A.J. Andrassy, Terry Lennon, Sean O'Donnell, Austin Weaver and Tom Weiler.

    Looking for results?

    Results of all five races will be posted on www.und.com as soon as possible after the meet on Friday. Participating SIDs and interested media members can have the results e-mailed to them by sending a request to Notre Dame cross country SID Alan Wasielewski at Wasielewski.3@nd.edu.

    2003 Notre Dame Invitational Race Lineups

    Women's Gold Division (2:00 p.m.)

    Alabama-Birmingham

    Anderson

    Arkansas State

    Calvin (Division III #5)

    Hillsdale (Division II #14)

    IPFW

    Malone

    Michigan State - B

    Northern Illinois

    Notre Dame - B

    St. Francis - PA

    Valparaiso

    Windsor

    Wisconsin-Milwaukee

    Wisconsin-Oshkosh (Division III #10)

    Wright State

    Youngstown State

    Men's Gold Division (2:45 p.m.)

    Akron

    Anderson

    Arkansas State

    Augustana

    Ball State

    Calvin (Division III #2)

    Heidelberg

    IPFW

    Malone

    Michigan State - B

    Mankato State (Division II #12)

    Notre Dame - B

    Siena Heights

    Valparaiso

    Wabash

    Windsor

    Wisconsin-Green Bay

    Wisconsin-Stevens Point (Division III #5)

    Wright State

    Women's Blue Division (4:15 p.m.)

    Akron

    Ball State

    California

    UC Santa Barbara

    Central Michigan

    Duke (#31)

    Memphis

    Mississippi State

    Notre Dame (#2)

    Oakland

    Penn State (#17)

    Saint Joseph's - PA

    South Florida

    Vanderbilt

    Wake Forest (#20)

    Washington (#25)

    Western Carolina

    Western Michigan

    Southern Utah

    Eastern Michigan

    Men's Blue Division (5:00 p.m.)

    Alabama

    California

    UC Santa Barbara

    Central Michigan (#7)

    Duke

    Eastern Michigan (#29)

    Hillsdale (Division II #9)

    Michigan (#12)

    Mississippi State

    North Central College (Division III #1)

    Notre Dame (#25)

    Oakland

    Penn State

    Saint Joseph's - PA

    St. Francis - PA

    South Florida

    Truman State (Division II #13)

    Western Carolina

    Western Michigan

    Wisconsin-Oshkosh (Division III #3)

    Youngstown State

    Southern Utah


     

     

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