MACOMB, Ill. - The Fighting Leathernecks are set to compete Friday (Sept. 28) at the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind. It comes after a week off from competition for the Purple and Gold.
"This meet is certainly one of our bigger meets on the schedule," said third-year head coach David Beachum. "We'll see some conference teams that we don't see very often. It'll be good to see some of those Summit League teams in September so we can kind of see where we line up."
The Leathernecks have quite a bit to build off of coming into this meet. They competed at the SIU-Edwardsville Cross Country Challenge September 14th and had some strong performances. Zach Wiedeman finished first among individual men in the 8K with a time of 25:26.02. Trenton Hopper finished ninth overall with a time of 25:51.40 and finishing in 11th for the men was Chase Marlow who ran a time of 25:55.28. The women are coming off strong performances as well. Alycia Thurston was strong once again running a time of 18:41.89 in the 5K. Lydia Smith finished in 19:27.22, good for 11th place.
This will mark the 57th men's Notre Dame Invitational as it started in 1956. The women's Notre Dame Invitational, however, started in 1987 and will mark the 26th annual race.There will be two divisions of teams, a Gold division and a Blue division. Both of Western's teams will be competing in the Gold division. Competing teams in both of Western's divisions are as follows:
WOMEN'S GOLD: Calvin, Eastern Michigan, Hillsdale, Indiana State, Fort Wayne, Kansas City, Murray State, Texas Arlington, TCU, UW Green Bay, UW Oshkosh, Valparaiso, Western Illinois, Youngstown State, Notre Dame "B"
MEN'S GOLD: Calvin, Hillsdale, Fort Wayne, IUPUI, Kansas City, Murray State, North Central College, Ohio University, Texas Arlington, UW Green Bay, UW Oshkosh, UW Stevens Point, Valparaiso, Wabash, Western Illinois, Windsor, Youngstown State, Notre Dame "B"
What: Notre Dame Cross Country Invitational
When: Friday, September 28, 2012
Where: Notre Dame Cross Country Course
Event Time: 2:00 p.m. for Women's 5K and 2:45 p.m. for Men's 5 miles
Coach Beauchum looks forward to the opportunity to compete in this meet.
"Team wise our training has really picked up so we have pretty high hopes going into this weekend and being pretty competitive."
Western has been without All-Summit League performer, Michael Castel, up to this point in the season. Western will also be running two of their freshman from the women's team.
"We are going to open up with Mike Castel on the men's side, who should be our lead runner," Beuchum said. "On the women's side we will also run our two freshman, Alyssa Johnson and Kelsey Capovilla."
Overall the outlook on this weekend is a very positive one for the Leathernecks. They have had strong performances in their previous meets this fall and are now nearing the Summit League Championships that take place Saturday, October 27th in Rochester, Michigan at Oakland University.
"We should have a much more competitive team this weekend. Individually things have been going pretty well, but now we are looking at putting the pieces together team wise to being much more succesful in that area as well."