Oct. 4, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Leigh Lattimore continued her impressive run of results this season as the graduate student placed fifth individually among a field of 198 that included a number of nationally-ranked teams at the Notre Dame Invitational at Burke Golf Course on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.
“I’m really happy with my performance today,” Lattimore said. “I just wanted to go out hard, and I kept it going. Overall, I think the team ran very well, and they did an amazing job. We’re not used to running in a big race like this, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere.”
Lattimore, a graduate student out of St. Mary’s University College in London, England, completed the five-kilometer course with a time of 17:10.2 to help the Lady Cardinals to 305 points and a ninth place finish in the event, one spot ahead of Duke, who entered the day ranked fourth in the country by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
“Leigh ran very well, but it was a good day for the team as a whole,” cross country coach Darren Gauson explained. “For her to be fifth and the team to be ninth in a field of that caliber is impressive, and I think we can still get better. This is just another good race and another step in the right direction as we work toward our overall goals for the season.”
The women’s team crown was won by No. 2 Florida State, which finished with 77 points.
Columbia won the men’s race with 113 points, and the LU men finished 13th with 354.
Louise Webb was the second top finisher for LU women, finishing 26th in 17:40.5, and Rachel Robinson came in 58th at 18:03.4. Other scorers included Kayla de Bondt (98th, 18:28.4) and Claire Arnold (121st, 18:42.1).
Belinda Aguilar (168th, 19:16.2), Megan Flanagan (184th, 19:41.0) and Kaitlynn Warren (191st, 20:09.5) also competed in the event.
Hannah Alderson made her LU debut in the open race, finishing 30th in 19:31.4.
Ash Harrell was the standout for the men, placing 46th (out of 209) in the five-mile race with a time of 25:13.8, and Ryan Saunders was 62nd at 25:25.6. Matt Johnsen, a 2012 All-American, was less than a second behind, finishing 65th 25:26.2.
“I think we just had a few too many things going up against us for the men today,” Gauson said. “We could’ve done better, but we are still progressing as a team. We need to get a few people back healthy again, but it’s another positive step towards the Pre-National meet and the conference championships. We need to continue to improve every day.”
Michael Kershaw placed 87th at 25:40.3, and Ryan Creech rounded out the scoring, coming in 92nd at 25:44.1.
Also running for the men were Matt Jackson (176th, 26:51.7), Sean Guiney (196th, 27:23.3) and Sam Stabler (27:27.2).
The Cards will return to action next week with the Houston Baptist Invitational before heading back to Indiana to participate at Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute in two weeks.