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MEN’S CROSS-COUNTRY: Team travels to the Bronx

Chris Khorey | Friday, November 18, 2005

While the top seven runners on the Notre Dame men’s cross country team focus on the NCAA Championships on Monday, some other members of the team have their own season-ending meet to get ready for.

A team of seven Irish runners will travel to The Bronx, N.Y. this weekend for the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) Championships.

Brett Adams, A.J. Andrassy, Dan Bradley, James Miller, Mark Moore, John Popejoy and Jake Watson have all seen limited race time this season. Notre Dame coach Joe Piane said the meet is an opportunity for them to have a goal later in the season when meet fields narrow and the top seven becomes very hard to break into.

“It’s an opportunity for seven more guys to train and have a goal as opposed to saying well, we’re just going to train,” Piane said.

The veteran coach said without the IC4As, many members of the team would have had little motivation to work hard after the Sept. 30 Notre Dame Invitational.

“If you’re the 14th guy, you know pretty well you’re not going to the Pre-National meet [Oct. 15] and your season ended on the first of October,” Piane said.

The IC4A is the oldest athletic conference in the nation. It contains almost every east coast school that competes in Division 1 athletics. It invites all its members to its Championships but usually the only teams that accept are those who did not qualify for the NCAA Championships.

“It’s usually a very good meet. Everyone on the East Coast will be there, less the teams that qualified for the NCAAs,” Piane said. “It’s the oldest conference in the country. You might even call it the ‘NIT’ of cross country.”

The Irish are unique in sending a team of runners to both the IC4As and NCAAs.

“I use it as a way to keep guys more involved,” Piane said. “We’re not going out there just to go to dinner. I expect a good performance out of them.”

The top seven Irish runners will compete for the NCAA Championship in Terre Haute, Ind. Monday.

Piane said he will be in New York for the IC4As then will fly back to Indiana for the NCAAs. The runners competing for the national championship will travel to Terre Haute Friday and work out on the course over the weekend.