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ND Cross Country

Notre Dame to run at ACC championships

| Thursday, October 29, 2015

Notre Dame returns to action Friday at the ACC championships in Tallahassee, Florida, two weeks after its outing at the highly-competitive Wisconsin Invitational on Oct. 16.

In Madison, Wisconsin, Notre Dame’s 17th-ranked women’s team was led by a pair of top-12 finishers. Senior Molly Seidel finished second with a six-kilometer time of 19:22.4 and freshman Anna Rohrer placed 12th, slipping in under the 20-minute mark at 19:56.9.

The meet featured 25 women’s teams ranked in the top 30 at the time, and the Irish placed 12th in the team standings, as the rest of Notre Dame’s squad fell farther back in the field. Sophomore Rachel DaDamio placed 93rd in 20:55.7, while the other two scoring runners — graduate student Karen Lesiewicz and sophomore Sydney Foreman — both placed outside the top 100.

Notre Dame’s men struggled in Wisconsin, placing 27th in a field featuring more than half of the top 30 men’s teams in the country. Senior Michael Clevenger led the way for the Irish, finishing 53rd in the eight-kilometer race in 24:12.5. Senior Timothy Ball and junior Chris Marco also finished in the top 100 for Notre Dame, completing the course in 24:17.8 and 24:21.4 respectively, while sophomore Kevin Pulliam and junior Jacob Dumford placed outside the top 100.

The ACC championships begin Notre Dame’s slate of postseason play — after Friday’s meet, the Irish will head back to Madison in two weeks for the NCAA Great Lakes regional.

On the men’s side, the field at Apalachee County Park in Tallahassee will feature a quartet of ranked schools: No. 2 Syracuse, the defending champion, leads the field for the conference crown, while No. 7 Virginia, No. 12 North Carolina State and No. 18 Virginia Tech are set to be the lead challengers.

No. 7 Virginia enters the meet as the highest-ranked team on the women’s side, while No. 8 NC State enters as second-favorite. No. 16 Syracuse and the Irish are the next-highest ranked teams in the field, while last year’s winner, No. 29 North Carolina, gives the women’s meet a fifth ranked challenger.

A year ago, Seidel finished fifth at the ACC championships, leading the Irish women to a fifth-placed finish while senior Danielle Aragon placed 19th.

Clevenger led the Irish men to a seventh-placed finish 12 months ago at the conference meet, placing 21st.

The gun is set to go off on the ACC championships Friday morning at 9 a.m. for the men’s race, and at 9:45 a.m. for the women’s race, at Tallahassee’s Apalachee County Park.

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