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ND Cross Country: Irish host teams for National Catholic Invitational

Robert Graham | Thursday, September 16, 2010

After a strong performance at the Valparaiso Crusader Open on Sept. 3, the Irish look to repeat successful finishes as they host the National Catholic Invitational this Friday at the Notre Dame Golf Course. Several elite programs from around the nation, including Marquette, Detroit-Mercy, Dayton, San Francisco and St. Mary’s of California will take on the course.

The men’s team, which finished in first place at the Crusader Open, will look to senior Paul Springer to replicate the performance that won him Big East Cross Country Athlete of the Week Honors at the beginning of the month. Springer finished in first place overall with a time of 19:34.50. He was followed by teammates Thomas Noel, Darryl Varney, Kevin Jacobs and Michael Tripp, who finished in second, third, fourth and sixth respectively.

Of those listed above, both Varney and Jacobs are freshmen. In an interview with Irish coach Joe Piane following the race, he said the most pleasing aspect of that race was the performance of the freshmen, who will undoubtedly need to step up their efforts on Friday.

The women’s squad should also have high expectations for today’s race after its strong performance at Valparaiso. Like the men, the women finished first overall with 26 points, just edging out Western Michigan’s total of 27. Junior Susanna Sullivan led the squad with a time of 18:17.50. Classmate Molly

Hirt finished close behind in third with a time of 18:35.10.

With their first collegiate race under their belts, the freshmen on this year’s squad look to contribute significantly this weekend.