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ND Cross Country

Notre Dame finds success to start season

| Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Notre Dame kicked off its regular season at the Crusader Open in Valparaiso, Indiana, on Friday. While both the men’s and women’s teams held back most of their top-ranked runners, they still found success, as the men’s team finished first overall in its competition, while the women’s team finished second overall.

Held at Sunset Hill Farm County Park, the Crusader Open included Purdue University, Valparaiso University, Indiana University Fort Wayne and, for the women’s side of the competition, Western Michigan University. The No. 8-ranked women’s team competed in a 5K race, while the men’s team competed in a 6K.

On the men’s side, freshman Yared Nuguse finished in first place and won the meet with a time of 18:09.3 in the 6K. The Kentucky Cross Country State Champion was one of eight freshmen to make their Notre Dame debuts at the Crusader Open. Nuguse was followed by sophomore Ryan Schweizer, who finished with a time of 18:14.5. Freshman Vincent Zona crossed the finish line in third with a time of 18:16.3, with sophomore Tyler Keslin right behind him in a time of 18:16.7, while graduate student transfer Conor Sheryak took fifth with a time of 18:17.8. Together, the Irish took the top five spots in the men’s meet, and thus recorded a perfect score at the Crusader Open for the second consecutive year.

In addition to the top five spots, Notre Dame senior Kevin Pulliam took the sixth spot with a time of 18:20.7, while graduate student transfer Bradley Wattleworth finished in 10th place with a time of 18:31.9. Freshman Andrew Alexander, who finished eighth for Notre Dame, finished the meet with a time of 18:36.1.

The women’s team was led by freshman Anna Sophia Keller, who finished second overall with a time of 17:14.2 —  trailing only Indiana University Fort Wayne’s Emma Rafuse, who won by a significant margin, finishing with a time of 16:44.6. Irish senior Kaitlin Frei finished third overall with a time of 17:37.4, while freshman Claudia Magnussen finished sixth overall with a time of 17:56.5. Junior Emily Franz took the 14th spot at the meet with a time of 18:45.9, while sophomore Madison Ronzone barely trailed Franz and earned the 15th position in the meet with a time of 18:58.8. To cap it off, freshman Brooke Trossen finished just a second behind Ronzone for 16th place in a final time of 18:59.6. As a whole, Notre Dame finished second behind Purdue’s women’s team.

Coming up next for the Irish is the National Catholic Invitational on September 15th at Burke Golf Course.

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