Oct. 12, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame men's and women's cross country teams will get their final tune-ups for the BIG EAST Championship this weekend at the Pre-Nationals on Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind., hosted by Indiana State University on the LaVern Gibson Championship Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. With the BIG EAST meet only two weeks away, it will be the final time the teams compete before the conference competition. The No. 7 Irish men's squad will compete first, running in the men's 8K White Race at 11:40 a.m. (EDT) while the women's team will follow at 12:20 p.m. (EDT) in the women's 6K Blue Race.
Saturday's competition will be hosted on the same course that plays host to the NCAA Championship on Nov. 19. Teams running at the Pre-Nationals meet will have an opportunity to not only get a feel for the course, but the race also gives indications to which teams will be contenders for the championship title in at the season's end.
As one of the largest regular-season meets during the season, 83 men's teams with 25 ranked and 81 women's teams and 22 ranked will all be competing throughout the day. The Notre Dame men's team will be up against 39 other teams, 12 of which are ranked, including the Irish, while the women's squad will face 38 teams, 11 of which are ranked.
The Irish men have had a great start to the 2007 campaign, winning all three of their competitions this year, including the Crusader Invitational (Valparaiso) and the National Catholic Championship and Notre Dame Invitational, both set at the nine-hole Notre Dame Golf Course. The title-winning performance at the NDI surged the men's team from a 12th-place ranking to a seventh-place ranking in the nation. It is their highest team ranking since 2005 when the Irish were ranked fifth heading into the national championship competition.
The women's team returns to competition after a 12th-place finish at the Notre Dame Invitational. The team had a strong start to the 2007 season, capturing the title at the Crusader Invitational at Valparaiso, Ind., as well as taking the title at the National Catholic Championship at home.
More information on the Pre-National Meet can be found on the Indiana State University website at gosycamores.com. Final results from the meet will be posted after the conclusion of the day's races on the official Notre Dame athletics website www.und.com as well as on the Notre Dame Sports Hotline at 574-631-3000.