ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s and women’s cross country teams travel to Indiana for its first out-of-state competition of the season at the 58th annual Notre Dame Invitational on Friday, Oct. 3. The Phoenix men will race in the gold five-mile race at 2:45 p.m. while the women will compete in the blue 5K run at 4:15 p.m. at the Notre Dame Golf Course.
On the women’s side, the Phoenix will compete in a very tough field that features 23 out of 24 Division I teams that are regionally ranked. Elon comes into the meet ranked at No. 11 in the Southeast Region poll.
The men’s field features four teams that are regionally ranked in Duquesne, Loyola Marymount, Pittsburgh and Southern Illinois. Former conference foe and local rival UNCG also will compete against the Phoenix in the men’s race.
Last Time Out
The event is the first for the maroon and gold since coming off runner-up finishes at the Adidas Cross Country Challenge. Both programs were defeated host school NC State, but beat other notable schools at the event like UNCG, East Carolina and new Colonial Athletic Association foe UNC Wilmington.
The men’s team was paced once again by senior Luis Vargas, who won his second consecutive race of the 2014 season with a time of 14:29 in the 5K run. The time set a new course record, breaking the previous mark set by former NC State All-American Ryan Hill. The performance earned Vargas his second CAA Men’s Runner of the Week.
On the women’s side, Elyse Bierut headlined six members of the team finishing under the 18-minute mark with her new school-record time of 17:25 in the 5K race, finishing fourth overall. Bierut was named the CAA Female Runner of the Week, the first career weekly honor for the Rocky River, Ohio, native. Senior Jenny Gallagher was not too far behind with her new personal-best time of 17:27, the second-fastest performance in school history.
The Phoenix will compete again on the weekend of Oct. 17-18. Majority of both teams will compete at the Blue Ridge Open in Boone, N.C., on Friday while select members will race at the NCAA Pre-Nationals the following day.