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Cross Country dominates at National Catholic Invite

| Monday, September 23, 2019

The Notre Dame men’s and women’s cross country team continued their dominant start to the season by both taking first at the National Catholic Invitational this past Friday. Both teams easily finished in first place with the women’s team winning by a 52 point margin and the men’s team edging out the next opponent, Walsh by 54 points and tallying a perfect score of 15, with individual runners finishing in 1-2-3-4-5 order.

The women’s team was once again led by the young talent of sophomore Maddy Denner. Competing in her first home cross country meet, Denner shined from start to finish and crossed the finish line of the 5K in a time of 17:21.12. Denner now has back to back victories, as she won the Crusader Invitational two weeks ago. Leading for the whole race, Denner started to pull away from the field after the third mile en route to a resounding victory.

There were plenty of other promising performances across the board, but most notably on the women’s side were the performances of second and third place runners, junior Anna Sophia Keller and freshman Jocelyn Long, who placed second and third overall with times of 17:45.13 and 17:55.15 respectively.

The other scorers on the women’s side were junior Erin Sullivan and senior Erin Archibeck. Sullivan and Archibeck finished fifth and seventh overall with times of 18:02.84 and 18:06.60 respectively.

On the men’s side, all eyes were on redshirt sophomore Dylan Jacobs. Jacobs did not disappoint, winning the 8K race clocking a time of 25:08.94. Jacobs was the 2017 Foot Locker National Champion in high school and found immense success this past track season, capping it off with a NCCA Championship in the distance medley relay at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships with teammates graduate student Edward Cheatham, junior Sam Voelz and junior anchor Yared Nuguse. Sean Carlson, head men’s cross country coach, said he is confident Jacobs will make a smooth transition from the 5K high school distance to the 8Ks and 10Ks of college.

When asked about his performance Jacobs stated, “I was happy. Our main goal was to just run as a team, and we really need to get used to that throughout the season because that’s what cross country is about. It’s a team sport. We did that for awhile and we stayed together, had a great pack through four miles, and we are really happy about that. It was a great day.”

Jacobs said he is thrilled to be back on the cross country course competing.

 “It feels great. It’s tough, so sometimes I don’t like it,” he said. “But it’s awesome. It’s awesome with the team. We have a lot of goals and we have a lot of potential I think and a lot of talent, so I’m excited to see what we can do this year.”

There were many other strong performances, but Carlson noted the performance of junior Peter Monahan who placed third overall with a time of 25:17.27.

“This is his first year where he is healthy and running on our home course, which is really cool to see for our cross country season. He was in our top five and that’s always fun to see,” Carlson said.

The other scorers for the men finished within mere seconds of one another: freshman Matthew Carmody finished second with a time of 25:17.09. Followed by sophomore Zach Kreft (25:17.42), and senior Tyler Keslin (25:23.41), who placed fourth and fifth overall respectively. 

Both teams will be using the next couple of weeks to gear up for the Joe Piane Invitational, which will take place Friday, Oct. 4th at Burke Golf Course. The meet will feature 15 of the top 30 schools in the nation and 16 national qualifying teams from last year.

“We are looking to get a more holistic picture of where we are at at Joe Piane. We will be tested there,” Carlson said. “There are some really good schools.”

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About Nate Moller

Nate is a junior majoring in chemical engineering. He is originally from a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota and is currently living in Siegfried Hall. Some of his passions include running, cross country skiing, and getting too worked up about Notre Dame and Minnesota sports teams.

Contact Nate