Elon’s Vargas Blazes Trail at Notre Dame Invitational Cross Country

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Senior Luis Vargas won his third consecutive race of the season as the Elon University men’s and women cross country teams competed at the 59th annual Notre Dame Invitational on Friday, Oct. 3, at the Notre Dame golf course.

Vargas clocked in a time of 23:30.9 in the men’s five-mile race and captured his third straight first-place finish this season and the fourth overall in his career. Prior to this season, the Elon men’s program only had four individualist finishes all-time in program history.

Ari Rothschild was the next runner to cross the line on the men’s side with a time of 24:34 and was 13th overall. Sam Geha (25:33.1, 74th), Ryan Gwaltney (26:01.1, 106th) and Adam Bernstein (26:24.7, 127th) rounded out the top five scores as the Phoenix men finished 14th overall in the gold race.

On the women’s side, senior Jenny Gallagher was the first runner to cross the line for Elon with her time of 16:54.8 in 30th overall. Fellow senior Tereza Novotna was next up for the Phoenix in 32nd and a time of 16:57.3. Kimberly Johansen (17:28.2, 91st), Kaitlin Snapp (17:34.1, 102nd) and Emily Dunne (17:38, 107th) were the next group up that scored for Elon. Due to rainy weather conditions, the women’s blue race was shortened and rerouted from its original 5K run as the Phoenix finished 14th overall.

New Mexico won the women’s blue race while Grand Valley State took the team honors in the men’s gold race.

The maroon and gold returns to the course on the weekend of Oct. 17-18. On Friday, majority of the team will compete at the Blue Ridge Open in Boone, N.C., while select members will race on Saturday at the NCAA Pre-Nationals meet.