ND Cross Country
Notre Dame secures victory at Crusader Open
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, September 3, 2018
The No. 23 Notre Dame dominated the course at the Crusader Open in Valparaiso, Indiana, on Friday. Both the men’s and women’s teams took home wins over the hosting Crusaders and Purdue in their season opener.
In the men’s 6,000-meter race the Irish easily outpaced their opponents, claiming six of the top 10 spots and the first five point scorers. Notre Dame’s top four runners packed together to finish in a cluster of within six seconds of each other. Senior Anthony Williams led the way for the Irish crossing the line in just over 18 minutes, earning a second-place finish. Junior Kevin Salvano and sophomore Brendan Fraser followed Williams, coming in at 18:04 and 18:05, respectively. Sophomore Brian Griffith finished fourth with a time of 18:07, and sophomore Andrew Alexander rounded out the top five, running the race in 18:26.
In the women’s 5,000-meter race, the Irish got all five point scorers within the first six spots, with only one Boilermaker cracking the top five. Notably, Notre Dame was paced behind the top two finishers in the race, freshmen Jacqueline Gaghan and Elana Denner, who finished just over a second apart. Rounding out the top five for the Irish were sophomore Claudia Magnussen with a time of 17:35, graduate student Kelli Reagan and freshman Anna Fischer, with a time of 17.49, to earn fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Reagan, a transfer from Yale, is joining new head coach Matt Sparks’ team in her final year of eligibility, after injuring her lower back during her senior season as a captain for the Bulldogs. Her 17:37 finish this past weekend marks a personal best in the 5,000-meter race of over 20 seconds.
The women’s 29-point win over the second-place Boilermakers marked a significant improvement over last year’s 7-point loss. Of last year’s competitors at the Crusader Open, only three of them — Magnussen, sophomore Brooke Trossen and junior Madison Ronzone — ran this past weekend. Magnussen was the only one of the five returning runners from last season’s NCAA Great Lakes Regional team who competed this weekend. Likewise, on the men’s side, only three runners returned to repeat this course from last season’s team. Both teams failed to advance beyond the NCAA Regional round.
The Irish will return home for the next month as they prepare to host their next two meets — the National Catholic Invitational and the Joe Piane Invitational – on Sept. 14 and Sept. 28. Both meets are expected to draw top competition from across the country and will be held on the Burke Golf Course. The Irish will look to carry the same momentum and confidence into the four weeks.