Nov 29, 2012, 9:31 AM EDT
The men’s and women’s cross country teams concluded their seasons Nov. 17 in Louisville, Ky. with the NCAA Championship Meet.
The women were led by an impressive pack featuring the trio of senior Rebecca Tracy, sophomore Gabby Gonzales, and junior Alexa Aragon, who crossed the finish line of the 6K race together in a time of 20:47 at 96th, 97th, and 98th overall, respectively. The team placed 15th out of 31 teams with 394 total points.
The men’s team struggled at nationals without all-BIG EAST runner Jeremy Rae, who was forced to sit out of the race with a leg injury. The team placed 28th overall with 591 total points.
Despite the disappointing result of the race, several positive outcomes could be taken away from the men’s race. Chief among these was the impressive performance of junior Martin Grady, who filled Rae’s position as the team’s top runner, and finished 52nd overall in a time of 30:20 in the 10K race. Also, the men put in a strong team performance, without Rae, in the Great Lakes Regionals on Nov. 9 just to qualify for nationals.
Both teams faced tough competition throughout the season from some of the nation’s elite programs at meets including the Notre Dame Invitational and Wisconsin Invitational, and showed that, when healthy, they could hold their own among the top runners in the country.
Many cross country runners will continue to run in the winter and spring seasons for the Irish track & field teams. Look for an experienced and competitive squad of runners to return next fall to lead the Irish cross country teams back to their winning ways.
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