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ND Cross Country: Ferguson has high hopes for Irish in ’09

Molly Sammon | Thursday, August 27, 2009

Senior cross country star Lindsey Ferguson has a personal goal that extends past the expectations of her team going into the 2009 season.

“It is the last time I am ever going to run cross country, so I would like to go out with a bang,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson has an excellent chance of being named a 2009 NCAA All-American and anticipates training all season to be one of the 40 athletes to garner the title of All-American in the NCAA meet.

“As a runner, the best word that I can use to describe her is tough,” Irish coach, Tim Connelly said. “She is one of those people who goes out and runs as hard as she can from the gun.”

Ferguson, who boasts a personal best mile time of 4:50, and the rest of the girls have been working hard with previously dictated training schedules during the past summer months.

“Our coach and weight trainer sends us a training schedule for the entire summer, so I just follow that to stay in shape,” Ferguson said.

This season consists of three major events for both the men’s and women’s teams. The Irish will compete in the Big East Championship meet, the NCAA Great Lakes regional competition, and hope to qualify as many runners as possible for the NCAA Nationals meet in Terre Haute, Ind. in late November.

“We would like to have a good showing at the NCAA meet, where the past three years we have just been trying to make it there,” Ferguson said.

In her junior season, Ferguson finished in the top fifteen at both the Big East Conference meet and the NCAA Great Lakes Regional and placed first at the National Catholic Invitational.

“The biggest key for her to be able to get to that next level will be to stay healthy,” Connelly said. “Last spring she was really fit and running great, then she suffered a fluke injury that, while it didn’t keep her from running completely, really compromised her training and in the end kept her from accomplishing what she had hoped to accomplish.”

Despite last season’s setback, Ferguson and the rest of the team have a full schedule that hopefully will yield new records and new personal bests.

“Like Lindsey, I think that the rest of the team is very motivated and excited for the year of running,” Connelly said. “They know that we have we were a good team last year, now it’s time to see if we can be a great team, which is the expectation here at Notre Dame.