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ND Cross Country: Runners to wrap up season

Maija Gustin | Friday, November 12, 2010

The Irish head into the final leg of their season running high after fifth- and sixth-place finishes at the Big East Championships.

Two weeks ago, the Irish men finished fifth out of 14 teams while the women ranked sixth out of 16.

Senior Dan Jackson led the No. 30 Irish men, finishing 12th overall with a time of 25:32. Freshman Martin Grady followed, finishing 20th overall in 25:59 with sophomore Jeremy Rae and junior Jonathan Shawel finishing close behind in 26th and 27th place. Junior Jordan Carlson came in 44th place and senior Mat Abernathy finished in 53rd.

Syracuse won the men’s race and was followed up by Louisville, Providence and Villanova.

For the women, freshman Meg Ryan led the pack, finishing 30th. Senior Erica Watson followed in 33rd, trailed by sophomore Rebecca Tracy in 38th. Junior Rachel Velarde and freshman were Kelly Curan 42nd and 47th, respectively.

Villanova won the women’s gold. Georgetown finished second while Syracuse came in third. The top five was rounded out by Providence and West Virginia.

This weekend, the Irish head to Oakland University for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. They will face a slate that includes Butler, Cincinnati, Dayton, Eastern Michigan, Indiana State, Indiana, Marquette, Miami (Ohio), Michigan, Michigan State, Oakland, Ohio State, Purdue, Toledo, Valparaiso and Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is currently ranked No. 5 in the nation on the men’s side while Indiana is No. 12. For the women, Michigan State is No. 16 while Michigan is No. 18. Toledo is No. 30.

In the 2009 Regionals, the men finished seventh overall out of 30 teams. The women won the 32-team women’s race.

Velarde, Watson and Tracy all contributed to the Irish win in 2009. Velarde automatically qualified for the NCAA

Championships because of this race.

Jackson, Carlson and Shawel ran in the top five for the Irish men. The men’s top five in 2009 consisted of Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana and Butler.

The 2010 NCAA Great Lakes Regionals begin at 11 a.m. Saturday in Rochester, Mich.