ND Cross Country: Men and women place first at home
Isaac Lorton | Sunday, September 22, 2013
Both the men’s and women’s squads won each of their respective team titles in the 34th annual National Catholic Championships held at the Notre Dame Golf Course on Friday.
“Not only did the men run well, but the women did as well,” Piane said. “Both squads did very well. You can’t ask for much more.”
The women’s team took the top three spots in a field of 298 runners. Irish senior Kelly Curran won the race with a time of 17:17.9 and received top individual honors. It is the 11th-consecutive year a Notre Dame runner has captured the women’s individual title at the National Catholic Championships. Irish coach Joe Piane said the cross country team as a whole had a stellar meet. Irish senior Alexa Aragon and junior Emily Frydrych came in second and third respectively, with times of 17:18.5 and 17:34.4.
“With Kelly winning and Alexa and Emily right behind her, it was a great finish for the women,” Piane said.
With the third-place finish, Frydrych secured her fastest time and turned in the best showing at a meet of her career.
“It was the best race Emily has had in her collegiate career,” Piane said.
Irish sophomore runner Molly Seidel finished in seventh with a time of 17:45.1. Piane said he was impressed with her progress.
“Molly had a great outing,” Piane said. “She had an abbreviated track season [last year], so she’s short on training. But she is coming along really well.”
The Irish men did not take the individual title, which went to Loyola junior Sam Penzenstadler (24:55.4), but they did have six runners finish among the top seven, in a field of 260 runners. Irish junior Jake Kildoo (25:05.4), sophomore Michael Clevenger (25:05.4), senior Martin Grady (25:05.6), graduate student Jeremy Rae (25:05.8), senior Walter Schafer (25:06.0) and senior Patrick Lesiewicz (25:09.7) finished in second place through seventh place, respectively.
Piane said the Irish planned to gather points in the meet by placing a large group of runners among the top finishers.
“That was honestly what we wanted to do,” Piane said. “We were pretty confident that we would win. But to be a good cross country team, you have to run together and we did that. They really supported each other out there.”
The Irish finished with the low score of 20. No other team finished with a score below 66, and eight of 10 teams finished with scores over 100. The top five finishers for each team contribute their finishing position to an aggregate score. Piane said even if the Irish had used the finishing positions of their sixth and seventh runners, they still would have won. Lesiewicz finished seventh overall and Irish freshman runner Scott Milling was the seventh Irish finisher, coming in 13th overall with a time of 25:44.2.
“Our goal was to win, but also to run as a group,” Piane said. “Six of the guys finished together but Scott Milling was right behind them.”
The Irish next run at the Notre Dame Invitational on held on the Notre Dame Golf Course on Oct. 4.
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