Track & Field
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Aggies among nationally ranked field at Notre Dame

September 25, 2012
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

SOUTH BEND, Indiana - Texas A&M cross country will have 20 athletes competing in its first meet outside the state of Texas this season when they face nationally-ranked fields at the 57th annual Notre Dame Invitational on the Burke Memorial Golf Course this Friday, Sept. 28.

The Aggie men, who moved back up to a program best No. 14 ranking this week, are one of 10 nationally-ranked teams scheduled for the Notre Dame meet while the A&M women are in a field that includes five nationally ranked squads. The women's race, covering 5,000-meters, starts at 3:15 p.m. (CT) while the men's five-mile race begins at 4 p.m. (CT).

"This meet will be a good test to see where we stack up this time of the year," said Texas A&M assistant coach Wendel McRaven. "Our focus is always on the championship month of November, but a high quality meet like this serves to show us where are in the process. Last year, this meet revealed that our men's team was better than we realized. We will have a better idea of where our strengths are and what we need to work on after this weekend."

Nationally ranked men's teams in the field include No. 10 Florida State, No. 11 North Carolina State, No. 17 Princeton, No. 20 Tulsa, No. 21 New Mexico, No. 24 Notre Dame, No. 25 Eastern Kentucky, No. 28 Columbia, and No. 29 Washington State.

Women's nationally ranked schools competing include No. 2 Florida State, No. 19 New Mexico, No. 20 Notre Dame, No. 21 Butler, and No. 25 North Carolina State.

Texas A&M will also face a pair of SEC schools as Alabama and Mississippi State join the Aggies in South Bend. Mississippi State women are ranked No. 5 while the men are No. 7 in the South region. Alabama women rank No. 8 in the South region. In the South Central region A&M men are No. 2 with the women No. 3.

Last season at Notre Dame an unranked A&M men's crew placed seventh in team scoring among a field of 26 schools and bettered four nationally-ranked teams. Henry Lelei led the Aggie effort with an eighth-place finish. A young A&M women's group finished 20th in team scoring after a slow start left them in the back half of a large field of runners.

In addition to the nationally ranked squads, the 2012 version of the Notre Dame Invitational will also include Illinois, Liberty, North Carolina, Ohio State, and Washington State. Other men's teams in the field include Butler, Eastern Michigan, Indiana State, McNeese State, and Navy. Women's teams also include Northwestern, Princeton, and SMU.

"The Notre Dame Invitational is truly a classic," noted McRaven. "The meet always attracts a nationally elite field. This is the 57th edition of this meet and so many teams and individuals have raced there over the years it's incredible. I raced the meet in college and we always look forward to our trip to Notre Dame. It's the kick-off to the real racing season in collegiate cross country."

Lelei will lead a men's squad of 12 Aggies into the meet, which includes Stephen Curry, Micah Dettmer, Jake Hervey, James Hodges, MacLean O'Donnell, Jake Roberts, Colin Slattery, Isaac Spencer, Dylan Williams and Bobby Zeller.

Sophie Blake, who has led the Aggie women in their first two meets, headlines a crew of eight runners. A year ago Blake competed in the junior varsity race at Notre Dame. The A&M squad includes Shawn Dalglish, Grace Fletcher, Amanda Jenkins, Hillary Montgomery, Gabby Salazar, Heather Sterling and Tara Upshaw.

USTFCCCA NATIONAL COACHES POLL

September 25, 2012

MEN

Rank

Institution (FPV)

Points

Region

Conference

1

Wisconsin (9)

355

Great Lakes

Big Ten

2

Oklahoma State (2)

346

Midwest

Big 12

3

BYU (1)

343

Mountain

West Coast

4

Oklahoma

313

Midwest

Big 12

5

Portland

295

West

West Coast

6

Texas

290

South Central

Big 12

7

Colorado

277

Mountain

Pac-12

8

Iona

275

Northeast

Metro Atlantic

9

Stanford

260

West

Pac-12

10

Florida State

233

South

ACC

11

NC State

228

Southeast

ACC

11

Indiana

228

Great Lakes

Big Ten

11

Syracuse

228

Northeast

Big East

14

Texas A&M

184

South Central

SEC

15

Georgetown

167

Mid-Atlantic

Big East

16

Minnesota

156

Midwest

Big Ten

17

Princeton

148

Mid-Atlantic

Ivy

17

Arkansas

148

South Central

SEC

19

Northern Arizona

146

Mountain

Big Sky

20

Tulsa

134

Midwest

Conf USA

21

New Mexico

126

Mountain

Mountain West

22

Villanova

120

Mid-Atlantic

Big East

23

Oregon

97

West

Pac-12

24

Notre Dame

90

Great Lakes

Big East

25

Eastern Kentucky

72

Southeast

Ohio Valley

26

Michigan

58

Great Lakes

Big Ten

27

Virginia

53

Southeast

ACC

28

Columbia

51

Northeast

Ivy

29

Washington State

50

West

Pac-12

30

UCLA

46

West

Pac-12

WOMEN

Rank

Institution (FPV)

Points

Region

Conference

1

Washington (10)

356

West

Pac-12

2

Florida State (1)

343

South

ACC

3

Oregon (1)

335

West

Pac-12

4

Georgetown

330

Mid-Atlantic

Big East

5

Iowa State

303

Midwest

Big 12

6

Stanford

292

West

Pac-12

7

Providence

287

Northeast

Big East

8

Vanderbilt

283

South

SEC

9

Villanova

253

Mid-Atlantic

Big East

10

Arkansas

248

South Central

SEC

11

Michigan

235

Great Lakes

Big Ten

12

Arizona

232

West

Pac-12

13

Boston College

203

Northeast

ACC

14

Michigan State

199

Great Lakes

Big Ten

15

Colorado

168

Mountain

Pac-12

16

Weber State

166

Mountain

Big Sky

17

Penn State

142

Mid-Atlantic

Big Ten

18

San Francisco

140

West

West Coast

19

New Mexico

139

Mountain

Mountain West

20

Notre Dame

121

Great Lakes

Big East

21

Butler

120

Great Lakes

Atlantic 10

22

Toledo

107

Great Lakes

Mid-American

23

Oklahoma State

91

Midwest

Big 12

24

Columbia

81

Northeast

Ivy

25

NC State

71

Southeast

ACC

26

Virginia

63

Southeast

ACC

27

Syracuse

60

Northeast

Big East

28

Florida

38

South

SEC

29

Wisconsin

36

Great Lakes

Big Ten

30

Texas

34

South Central

Big 12


Aggies seek more Championship of America titles at Penn Relay Carnival
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