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Irish win Valparaiso Invitational

Steve Coyer | Tuesday, September 14, 2004

For the second straight season, a Notre Dame cross country team recorded a victory at the Valparaiso Crusader Invitational.The men’s team swept the top six spots in the race and captured first place with an overall score of 15. After a 2003 victory at the Crusader Invitational, the Irish women finished third behind Western Michigan and Wisconsin-Madison. Sophomore Dan Driscoll led the Irish men with a time of 25:30 on his way to the individual race title. Teammate Ryan Johnson finished only fractions of a second behind Driscoll to take second place. The men’s team ran as a pack throughout the race. Only 27 seconds separated the top six Irish runners. Senior Michael Manning placed third with a time of 25:34 running alongside junior Austin Weaver, who finished fourth. Junior Vinnie Ambrico took fifth place at 25:45 to ensure the Irish a perfect 15 point score for the invitational.The Irish women had a score of 53 against a competitive field to take third place. Junior Elizabeth Webster captured third place to lead the team with a time of 22:30. The women’s team did not have its top eight runners present at the Crusader Invitational. Coach Tim Connelly instead sent his less experienced runners to race in a major competition. “We returned most of our team from last year that finished 10th in the NCAAs,” Connelly said. “We’ve got some kids that, with time, are going to contribute.”Irish Sophomore Katie DeRusso came across the finish line at 23:19 to take eighth place. Jennifer Walls, Jennifer Richard and Christine Arnerich took the 13th, 14th and 15th spots consecutively to give the Irish a final score of 53.Western Michigan won the women’s race with 35 points followed by Wisconsin-Madison in second with 41 points. The men’s and women’s teams’ upcoming meets include the National Catholic Championship and Notre Dame Invitational. Both races will be held at Notre Dame.