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Mens and Womens Cross Country host tournament

Joe Lindsley | Friday, October 3, 2003

Both the Irish men’s and women’s cross country teams will see their first real competition of the season today as they host the Notre Dame Invitational. After two meets against less talented teams, Notre Dame will face top teams such as Michigan and Duke as both Irish teams field all of their top runners for the first time this season.

In the previous two races, both the men’s and women’s squads could afford to give their top runners a rest while focusing on developing the less experienced runners, particularly the freshmen. Essentially, the first two races were a warm-up for the season.

Today, though, the Irish will get a better sense of where they stand among some of the nation’s top teams as 19 ranked men’s and women’s squads will be running on the Burke Memorial Golf Course.

The No. 2 Irish women will face off against No. 20 Wake Forest, No. 25 Washington and No. 31 Duke. The Irish expect to be led by junior Lauren King, sophomore Molly Huddle, senior Megan Johnson, and freshman Amy Cohleimer, who will all be running their first races of the season. Senior Katie Wales, sophomore Jean Marinangeli, sophomore Elizabeth Webster and junior Kerry Meagher, who took first place at the National Catholic two weeks ago, will also be among the varsity Irish runners.

The Irish men, who were third last season at the Notre Dame Invitational, will be led by sophomore Tim Moore, senior Todd Mobley and freshman Kurt Benninger, who will all be participating in their first competition of the fall. Sophomore Caleb van Ort and junior Sean O’Donnell, who were second and third, respectively, at the National Catholic, will likely play major roles for the Irish.

Both Irish squads are fresh off a win at the National Catholic Invitational, but today’s competition will be a much more significant test for the Irish as both teams embark upon their mission to win the Big East Championships and to finish near the top at the National Championship meet.