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ND Cross Country: Team eager to begin conference season

Robert Graham | Monday, September 6, 2010

As the Irish got their season underway last week, coach Tim Connelly said that while his squad was in good shape, nobody was quite “race ready.”  

But the women edged out Western Michigan by a score of 26-27 Friday at the Crusader Open at Valparaiso.

The Irish benefited from strong performances by their upperclassmen. Junior Susanna Sullivan led the Irish with a time of 18:17.50. Freshman Molly Hirt and junior Kari Johnson finished close behind with times of 18:35.10 and 18:56.61, respectively.

The men also won at the Crusader Open, and in more convincing fashion, claiming five of the top six finishes in the race, including places one through four. Senior Paul Springer had the top individual finish with a time of 19:34.50.

The squad also benefitted from strong running on the part of freshmen. Darryl Varney and Kevin Jacobs finished in third and fourth place respectively with times of 19:35.45 and19:36.01. Patrick Smith crossed the line in eighth place at 20:12.08.

Both squads wait anxiously over the next two weeks for their first home meet of the season, the National Catholic Invitational, which will be held on September 17 at the Notre Dame Golf Course.