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Irish men take third straight

Joe Meixell | Monday, October 1, 2007

Like a charm.

At the Notre Dame Invitational Friday, the Irish men won their third straight team title, beating out 22 teams in the Blue Division.

The women placed 12th in a field of 21 teams as Rice took first in the women’s Blue Division.

Junior Patrick Smyth, who ran five miles in 23:44, led the men, coming in second out of 178 runners on the individual leaderboard. He was only seven seconds behind winner Joshua McDougal of Liberty University.

Irish senior Jake Watson finished with a time of 24:11, good enough for 10th place overall. Other men placing for the Irish included freshman Dan Jackson (16th), sophomore Jake Walker (30th) and freshman Paul Springer (34th).

Jackson and Springer both improved their times significantly in the past two weeks when the Irish won the National Catholic Championship, cutting 31 and 17 seconds off of their times, respectively.

Senior Brett Adams (68th), senior Mike Popejoy (93rd) and junior Kevin Veselik (104th) rounded out the Notre Dame runners in the tournament.

Notre Dame finished 14 points ahead of North Carolina State and an impressive 32 points ahead of Providence, the only participating teams that were ranked higher than the Irish coming into the Invitational. Michigan and Florida State finished fourth and fifth.

The Irish women finished without a trophy for the first time this season.

Unranked Rice, which finished with 119 points, led the field. Illinois, Florida State, Michigan and Boston College rounded out the top five.

Notre Dame finished with a point total of 305.

Freshman Marissa Treece once again led the way for the Irish women, finishing her five kilometers in 17:24, good enough for 17th out of 162 participants. Her time was identical to the one she posted in a winning effort at the National Catholic Championship two weeks ago.

She has led the Irish in both of her two collegiate races so far.

Other scoring runners for the Irish were sophomore Lindsey Ferguson (31st), senior Ann Mazur (81st), junior Emily Wauford (88th) and freshman Abby Higgins (94th). Sophomore Beth Tacl (106th) and junior Becca Bauman (108th) were also in the field.

Both squads will return to action in Terre Haute, Ind., for the Pre-National Meet in two weeks. The event will be held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center on Oct. 13.