Both teams dominate Invite competition
Bobby Griffin | Monday, September 20, 2004
Talk about starting off the weekend on the right foot, literally. The Irish came up big Friday, as both the men and women took home first place in the National Catholic Invitational, easily defeating the other schools in the field. Seven of the top 10 finishers in the men’s race were from Notre Dame, including those in first, second and third place. Junior Tim Moore, who placed first with a time of 24 minutes, 58 seconds, led the Irish in his first college victory. Freshman Jake Watson and junior Vincent Ambrico finished second and third, respectively. Watson, whose time of 25:06 was eight seconds behind Moore, placed second in his first college race.”I was feeling pretty good, and then my body started to feel it about half way through. I had never run an 8K before, so I was wondering to myself how I was doing,” Watson said. “I kind of came around with like a mile to go. Luckily my teammate, Vinny Ambrico, was right there and we worked together to pass the guy who was right behind [Moore].”The Irish led all 30 schools with an impressive 19 points. Gonzaga came in second with 106 points and Xavier took third with 139 points. Rounding out the top 10 were Dayton, DePaul, Loras, Detroit-Mercy, St. Vincent, Holy Cross and St. Martin’s. Ryan Johnson, sixth, Austin Weaver, seventh, Daniel Driscoll, eighth and Dan Curren, ninth, also placed in the top 10 for the Irish. “We started a little bit fast out of the gate because we know that the first mile at the ND Invite is going to be pretty quick, so we wanted to get a little taste of that,” Watson said.Notre Dame’s impressive showing was not surprising considering the Irish have won the National Catholic Invitational for 10 years in a row, and 17 of the 25 races ever. The women were equally impressive on Friday, continuing a streak of dominance in this event, winning the Invitational for the eleventh time in 13 years.Moore wasn’t the only Notre Dame runner to win individually. Junior, Stephanie Media finished first in the women’s race with a time of 17:38. Teammate Sonni Olding finished second with a time of 17:40, in what was her first race as a Notre Dame runner. Olding, who was highly touted by coaches prior to the season’s start, proved she deserved the praise with her finish.”It was a low key meet for our whole team, so it’s a good confidence builder for the team to do really well,” said Madia. “I haven’t run, ever, with our new freshman, Sonni, and it was great to get to race with her and find out what it’s like to be in a meet together. I think it was good practice for both of us.”Also finishing in the top 10 for the women were Jean Marinangeli, who finished in sixth place and Elizabeth Webster, who finished in eighth place. While the women did not dominate their opponents to the same extent that the men did, their 28 points were good enough to defeat second place DePaul by a solid 59 points. Rounding out the top 10 finishers were Gonzaga, Bellarmine, Xavier, St. Thomas, Dayton, Detriot-Mercy, Holy Cross and Mercyhurst. Notre Dame will need to continue running well this Friday, when it hosts the Notre Dame Invitational.”We have a lot of work to do as a team, and the ND Invite is a whole new competition level, but I think it’s always great to get a good race under your belt,” Madia said.