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Runners win home invitational

Joe Lindsley | Monday, September 22, 2003

Even without their top runners, the Irish were ahead of the pack. And this came as no surprise to either the Irish or their opponents. At the first of their two home meets for the season, both the men and the women took first place Friday among the Division I and II teams at the National Catholic Invitational. Individually, the women’s contest was won by junior Kerry Meagher, running varsity for the first time in her Notre Dame career. While the competition was somewhat more challenging than the first meet for the Irish, the teams at the National Catholic Invitational are not quite the caliber of those who Notre Dame will face from this point on in the season. Because of this, Friday’s race was an opportunity for the Irish to work on running in packs and perfecting race strategy, as well as a chance for less-experienced runners, from freshmen to seniors, to represent Notre Dame on the varsity level. This was a long-awaited moment for Meagher, who won last year’s junior varsity event at the National Catholic Invitational.”I knew I was in really good shape, and I knew what I could do,” she said. “I was where I wanted to be. The team, we stayed together as a group. It was exactly what we wanted to do.”Meagher, whose 1,500-meter performance last spring took her to the regional track meet, was not alone at the top, though. Senior Maggie Nelson took second, and sophomores Elizabeth Webster and Jean Maringeli finished third and fourth. Senior Katie Wales arrived at the line in seventh place. The men also stuck together in a pack for much of the race. Led by sophomore Caleb Van Ort, who took second overall, the Irish occupied four spots in the top ten. Despite their efforts strength and depth, though,