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CROSS COUNTRY: Irish host Invite

Joe Lindsley | Friday, September 19, 2003

Both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams will partake in their second race of the season today as they host the National Catholic Invitational at the Burke Memorial Golf Course.

As in their previous race, the Valparaiso Invitational held two weeks ago, the Irish will be holding out their top runners to preserve them for more competitive events.

“It’s going to be a good way to gauge where we are and get more girls out there,” sophomore Jean Marinangeli said. “It’s going to be different, because there will be a lot more people running [compared to the Valparaiso race].”

The Irish plan on using today’s race to help prepare their less experienced runners for the tougher competition that will confront them later in the season, as well as to afford future top runners race experience.

“It will be a good experience for later on, when we have races with tons of people,” Marinangeli said. “We will have more people in the mix. We’ll work on working together, spotting out our teammates.”

Sophomore Tim Moore, who will not be running today, is optimistic about what he thinks the Irish harriers will be able to accomplish. Notre Dame took second at its first race of the season.

“There are some guys that have been out front, looking great in workouts,” Moore said. “I am just looking forward to seeing how well they do.”

Similarly, the women are expecting to do well, even without top runners like junior Lauren King and sophomore Molly Huddle. Without those runners, the Irish, led by meet champion Jean Marinangeli were still able to take first place at the Valparaiso Invitational. Notre Dame is looking forward to a greater test today, at least among individual runners.

“There is going to be good competition,” Marinangeli said. “There are usually at least a few top runners [at the annual National Catholic meet].”

Nevertheless, the more important races of the season have not yet arrived for the Irish.

“It’s pretty much for most guys just the opening race, pretty low key, just kind of a rust buster – nothing too major,” Moore said. “And our real focus starts at the Notre Dame Invitational in two weeks.”

For now, though, the seniors who have not had many opportunities to race and the freshmen who are still adjusting to collegiate cross country will have the opportunity to prove themselves today.

“They’ll get a chance to hop in and start racing,” Marinangeli said.