Seidel leads Irish at Wisconsin Adidas Invite
Marek Mazurek | Tuesday, October 27, 2015
The Notre Dame women placed 12th and men finished 27th at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Oct. 16.
Senior All-American Molly Seidel once again led the way for the Irish, turning in a 19:22.4, runner-up finish in the six kilometer race. The performance earned Seidel the honor of ACC Women’s Cross Country Performer of the Week and cements Seidel’s standing as one of the best runners in the country. Irish assistant head coach Matthew Sparks said Seidel’s consistent performances have been a major boost to the team.
“[Seidel] does what she does,” Sparks said. “She’s confident in who she is now; she’s been the key to our success over the last 12 months … She’s doing everything she does for the betterment of the team.”
Not far behind Seidel was freshman Anna Rohrer who finished 12th with a time of 19:56.9. Though she has two events under her belt, the Wisconsin Invitational was the most competitive field Rohrer has faced in the regular season, and Sparks said she is doing a good job adjusting to the collegiate scene.
“[Rohrer’s] done really well,” Sparks said. “That was one of my concerns with her coming in was she hasn’t really lost a race throughout high school, and she and I talked throughout the summer that she wasn’t going to win everything in college. It was going to be a challenge to step up and continue to improve … Honestly I think she’ll start to close the gap on Molly [Seidel] a little bit over the next month or so.”
Though Seidel and Rohrer have been consistent, the women’s team is dealing with a number of injuries, most notably senior Danielle Aragon who is out for the year. In light of the injuries, Sparks said he has been impressed with graduate student Karen Lesiewicz and her ability to embrace the “next man up” mentality.
“The [runner] I’m particularly excited to see her have the success she’s had is Karen Lesiewicz,” Sparks said. “She’s gone from a girl, her first couple years, who didn’t really contribute at all to being a solid contributing member of the team this year. She’s really stepped up and done that this year for us.”
For the men, question marks still remain as to whether the runners behind seniors Michael Clevenger and Timothy Ball can improve enough to challenge for a strong finish in the ACC.
Clevenger and Ball finished 43rd and 71st with times of 24:12.5 and 24:17.8, respectively, while junior Chris Marco followed in 81st with a 24:21.4 showing. Behind Marco, junior Jacob Dumford finished 222nd in 25:31. Sparks said the team will look to Dumford to improve as the team moves toward the ACC championships.
“Jake Dumford’s a guy that’s had some success for us on the track,” Sparks said. “He needs to transition his great practices into great races. That’s the next step for him. We just need to get our fifth guy [to improve] and the most fit guy to do that right now is Jake.”
The Wisconsin adidas Invitational also provided the Irish a preview of what may be to come at the ACC championships, as numerous ranked teams competed-including ACC contender North Carolina State.
“The women, we feel if we have a great day we can be running for second,” Sparks said. “[North Carolina State] and Virginia are running very well, but we’d like to maybe catch them off-guard that day. On the men’s side, if we can finish in the top five, we’ve had a good day.”
The Irish will compete in the ACC championships this Friday at Apalachee County Park in Tallahassee, Florida.