ND Cross Country
Irish prepare for ACC Championships
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, October 25, 2018
Following top-five finishes in the Pre-National Invitational two weekends ago, the Notre Dame aims to carry its momentum into the ACC championships on Friday. The Irish will travel to the campus of Boston College as the Eagles will host this year’s competitions.
Last season, the women’s team took sixth place and the men’s team took seventh. Senior Annie Heffernan finished 13th overall in the women’s championship race with a time of 20:28.30. Senior Rachel DaDamio also finished the race in the top-20, placing 18th overall with a time of 20:38.80 for All-Conference honors. On the men’s side, sophomore Yared Nuguse led the men’s team with a tie for 23rd in the 8K race, crossing the finish in 24:03.70. Graduate students Kevin Pulliam and Bradley Wattleworth also placed in the top-50 for the team. Overall, six members of the men’s squad that competed at ACCs last year return to the squad for the 2018 competition.
The women’s team – currently ranked No. 18 — will hope to have more success this year with the return of senior Anna Rohrer and the rising stardom of freshman Jacqueline Gaughan, who led the Irish at the Pre-National Invitational and finished top-15 in that competition.
The men’s team will have mounted pressure as well, as the Irish were recently promoted to 15th overall in the USTFCCCA National Coaches Poll — their first time being ranked in the past six years — after their fifth-place finish at the Pre-National Invitational. Nuguse continues to build upon a stellar freshman campaign, having led the Irish in the past two meets by finishing in the top-15 on both occasions.
The ACC currently has five women’s teams ranked in the top-30 nationally: N.C. State at No. 12, Notre Dame at No. 18, Georgia Tech at No. 22, Syracuse at No. 25 and Florida State at No. 29. On the men’s side, the ACC only has three teams in the top-30: Syracuse at No. 10, Virginia Tech at No. 14 and Notre Dame at No. 15.
The competition will start at 10 a.m. for the women’s 6,000-meter race, and 11 a.m. for the men’s 8,000-meter race. Chilly weather will accompany the competition with temperatures predicted to hover in the low 40s throughout the morning.