ND WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY: Irish bring home victory
It was a mud spattered and momentous meet for the Irish.
Running its full team for the first time this season, including freshman Lauren King, the team took an authoritative victory at the Notre Dame Invitational on Friday, winning the "Blue" division race with 58 points.
Michigan was the closest competitor of the next 16 teams, with 104 points.
King, a native of Toronto, Ontario, finished in 17 min. 20 sec. in her first collegiate cross country meet to take the title.
"I was nervous before the race, but really excited," King said. "I was excited all week to wear this jersey."
King, who finished 26th at the World Junior Cross Country Championships last year, did not run in earlier meets because her track season extended into midsummer. She and the rest of the team had to contend with a sloppy, rainy day and a muddy course.
"It was a great day for cross country," King said.
Junior Jen Handley took home third place in 17:28.
"I just put my head down and ran," Handley said. "I just hung in for the last mile. And having [Lauren] totally felt like this is when our season gets rolling."
Sophomore Megan Johnson was next for Notre Dame in 10th place, followed by freshman Christi Arnerich (20th) and junior Jennifer Fibuch (24th). Sophomore Julia Schmidt finished 54th, and Junior Muffy Schmidt finished 50th.
"It was awesome. Finally our team is together," Handley said.
The rainy day didn't keep the football weekend crowds away from watching the meet at Notre Dame golf course.
"It was awesome having our parents and friends here," Handley said.
All Sports Stories for Monday, October 8, 2001