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Irish Look Ahead to Great Lakes Regionals

Oct 31, 2012, 9:54 AM EDT

Rebecca Tracy and Kelly Curran led the Irish women's team at the BIG EAST championships.

The Irish men’s and women’s cross country teams rebounded from disappointing ends to their regular seasons with third and fifth place finishes, respectively, in last Friday’s BIG EAST Championship Meet.

The men placed third in an impressive and competitive field that featured three of the USTFCCCA’s Top 30 teams. Syracuse backed up its No. 16 ranking by winning the championship meet with only 37 points. The Irish finished with 70 points, only three behind rival Georgetown, who placed second in the meet.

Senior Jeremy Rae, the Irish’s top runner throughout the regular season, finished 3rd overall, with a time of 24:39.39. Junior Martin Grady placed 8th with a time of 24:46.52, and Senior J.P. Malette finished 14th in 24:58.42. The three runners received all-BIG EAST honors for their performances in a competitive field, which featured only a 20-second differential between 1st and 15th place.

The women’s team placed fifth with 90 points, only seven behind fourth place Villanova and 10 behind third place Providence. No. 9 Georgetown won the women’s meet with 58 points.

Junior Kelly Curran finished 12th in a time of 21:21.48 to lead the Irish. Curran and Senior Rebecca Tracy, who placed 15th, earned all-BIG EAST honors for their impressive races.

Next up for the Irish is the Great Lakes Regional Championship on Friday, Nov. 9. The Irish will return to Madison, Wisc., the site of the Wisconsin Invitational.

On the men’s side, the Irish are ranked fourth in the region, behind Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana, who respectively finished first, second and third in the Big Ten Men’s Championship Meet. Wisconsin, who won its 14th consecutive Big Ten title, will undoubtedly be the favorite to win the race.

The women, who also rank fourth in the region, will face strong competition from Michigan and Michigan State, who placed first and second, respectively in the Big Ten Women’s Championship Meet.

With strong performances in the regional meets, the Irish will look to qualify for the NCAA Championships later this month.

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