SOUTH BEND, IN -- Texas A&M cross country travels to the Notre Dame campus this weekend for its next meet against a field which includes 15 schools currently ranked among the top 30. The Irish will host the 52nd running of Notre Dame Invitational on Friday at the nine-hole Notre Dame Golf Course.
With a total of 54 schools entered in the meet the top ranked squads competing include No. 10 North Carolina State, No. 11 Providence and No. 13 Notre Dame on the men's side. The women's field includes top ranked teams in No. 2 Michigan, No. 6 Illinois and No. 9 Providence.
There will be two divisions in the men's and women's schedule and the distance being run is 8,000 meters for the men and 5,000 meters for the women. The Gold Division races begin at 2 p.m. (women) and 2:45 p.m. (men) while the Blue Division races start at 4:15 p.m. (women) and 5 p.m. (men). All times are listed in the Eastern time zone. Admission to the event is free to the public.
A field of 21 teams in the women's Blue Division includes the Aggies along with three other schools from the South Central Region – Baylor (No. 2 in the region), Rice (No. 3) and SMU. Texas A&M women are currently ranked No. 5 in the regional poll.
Other entrants in the women's field (national rankings in parenthesis) include Alabama-Birmingham, Akron, Boston College (26), Butler, Florida State (12), Mississippi State, Montana State, North Carolina, North Carolina State (16), Notre Dame (27), Ohio, Oklahoma State, Weber State and Wichita State.
The Aggie men are in a field of the following teams (national ranking in parenthesis): Boston College, BYU (20), Butler, Clemson, Cornell, Eastern Michigan, Florida State (24), Illinois, Indiana State, Kent State, Liberty, Michigan (25), Mississippi State, Montana State, North Carolina, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, Weber State and Wichita State.
Texas A&M received votes for the national top 30 poll this week following its fifth consecutive team title at the A&M Invitational. Five other programs receiving votes for the poll who compete with the Aggies this Friday in Notre Dame are Weber State, Eastern Michigan, Butler, Liberty and Illinois.
North Carolina State men and Michigan women return as defending team champions of the Blue Division races. The Aggie women placed 11th last season among a field of 19 teams while the Aggie men finished 13th among 20 teams.
The travel squad for the Texas A&M men include: David Hebert, Brian Lind, Kevin McNab, Andrew Montes, Graham Northcutt, Kevin Ondrasek, Matt Ross, Joe Sauvageau and Nick Toohey. Traveling for the Aggie women are: Sarah Balfour, Leigh Berger, Kirsten Brown, Alie Cornell, Kasey McNorton, Christina Munoz, Elizabeth Slaughter, Merideth Snow and Brenna Williamson.