NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame men’s and women’s cross country teams return to the University’s Burke Golf Course on Friday, Oct. 4 as they welcome in some of the nation’s most competitive teams to the 58th annual Notre Dame Invitational.
Friday’s invitational starts with the women’s gold race starting at 2 p.m. followed by the men’s gold race at 2:45 p.m. The JV/open race will split action with a start time of 3:30 p.m. The women’s blue race gets underway at 4:15 p.m. and the men’s blue race will round out the day at 5 p.m.
“The Notre Dame Invitational is always a challenging meet with a lot of talented opponents,” said men’s head coach Joe Piane. “It offers a great opportunity for us to pick up at-large points that will help us qualify for the NCAA meet. We’ll need to run in a pack to have a shot to win the blue race Friday afternoon.”
“I want to see us compete and not back down,” said women’s head coach Tim Connelly. “I want to see them put themselves up in the thick of the race and challenge the top-ranked teams. In the last week of training I’ve seen a group that is really fit and good and ready to run.”
Flotrack.com will offer coverage of the meet and UND.com will offer a video recap of the event at the conclusion of the day’s races.
The Notre Dame Invitational has been a part of the schedule since 1956. Over that course of time, the men’s team has crowned a top-finisher in the five-mile event nine times and has won their invitational on 16 occasions with 2007 being the last time they accomplished that feat.
The women’s team has hosted the event since 1987. Throughout that time, the women have had a top finisher six times. The women’s team has won their invitational five times with the last time coming in 2003.
This weekend, the Irish will have to run their best in order to place well with an extremely talented field entering the scene. There are 1,210 runners competing this year–616 women and 594 men. The invitational will see eight DI ranked teams in the men’s blue division race and eight DI ranked teams in the women’s races.
Men’s USTFCCCA Rankings In DI field: No. 7 Tulsa, No. 9 Princeton, No. 16 Colorado State, No. 21 New Mexico, No. 22 Notre Dame, No. 24 Virginia, No. 26 Florida State and No. 30 Columbia.
Women’s USTFCCA Rankings In DI field: No. 2 Florida State, No. 4 Duke, No. 15 New Mexico, No. 19 Notre Dame, No. 20 Butler, No. 24 San Francisco, No. 28 BYU and No. 30 Princeton.
Men’s USTFCCCA Rankings In DII-DIII field: No. 3 Grand Valley State (DII), No. 1 North Central College (DIII), No. 22 Calvin (DIII) and No. 12 Wabash (DIII).
Women’s USTFCCCA Rankings In DII-DIII field: No. 1 Grand Valley State (DII), No. 16 Hillsdale (DII) and No. 8 Calvin (DIII).
Last year at the invitational, the Notre Dame women’s team placed second while the men’s team took home third place.
Irish standout Jeremy Rae placed sixth (23:46) in the men’s blue race. Kelly Curran placed 15th in the women’s blue race with a time of 17:02, followed by teammates Rebecca Tracy, Danielle Aragon and Gabby Gonzales, all of whom finished in the top 25.
Both Notre Dame squads enter Friday’s meet having claimed first-place finishes at the National Catholic Championship two weeks ago. Individually, the top six finishes for the men and the top three finishes for the women were occupied by Irish runners.
For complete results and a recap of Friday’s meet follow UND.com, Facebook (facebook.com/NDXCTF) or Twitter (@NDXCTF).