Notre Dame, Indiana – Texas A&M’s David Hebert recorded a top 10 finish during the 52nd running of the Notre Dame Invitational on Friday.
Running a time of 24 minutes, 8 seconds on the 8,000-meter course resulted in an seventh-place finish for Hebert. Liberty’s Joshua McDougal was the individual winner in 23:37. Notre Dame’s Patrick Smith ran 23:44 for runner-up honors as Mike Woods of Michigan placed third in 23:49
“I was a little surprised with my time,” noted Hebert, who ran 24:59 last year on this course. “Even during the race I was surprised to hear what my splits were during the first two miles. I knew it was going to be a faster time than what I ran here last year, but 24:08 is pretty quick. I wasn’t expecting that.”
In two earlier races this season Hebert placed third in each. His achievement on the Notre Dame course is noteworthy due to a deeper field, both in talent and quantity. Hebert was just six seconds behind fifth place as a group of six runners finished within a 10-second span.
“In my first two races I had guys running with me who used the sit-and-kick style,” Hebert said. “Today, though, the lead group was running balls to the wall the whole way. It’s a whole different running style up here and I think I kind of like this way better.
“The whole plan was to go out really, really hard and try to hold through the end of the race. I ran the first mile in 4:30, which was really quick. The fourth mile was a little iffy, but I knew I could hold on and finish it. Running with the front pack, that is what I wanted to do.”
Texas A&M placed 13th in team scoring with 314 points amid a field of 23 teams. Notre Dame won the men’s title with 92 points to finish ahead of North Carolina State (106), Providence (124), Michigan (138) and Florida State (147).
The next Aggie through the line for the A&M men was Kevin Ondrasek in 59th with a time of 24:58. He improved his time from last year’s race on this course by nearly a full minute. Rounding out the scoring five for the Aggies were Nick Toohey (69th, 25:08), Joe Sauvageau (85th, 25:26) and Brian Lind (94th, 25:30).
Also running for the A&M men’s squad were Matt Ross (103rd, 25:39), Andrew Montes (107th, 25:47), Graham Northcutt (131st, 26:09) and Kevin McNab (143rd, 26:19).
On the women’s side the Aggies placed 16th with a score of 370 points. Rice, who won the Texas A&M Invitational last weekend, claimed the team title with 118 points as Illinois (139), Florida State (141), Michigan (148) and Boston College (176) rounded out the top five.
Sarah Balfour was the first Aggie to complete the women’s 6,000-meter course. She placed 26th in 17:32 matching the time she recorded last year. Christina Munoz was the next A&M runner in 48th place with a time of 17:49. The remainder of the scoring pack included Brenna Williamson (67th, 18:00), Alie Cornell (115th, 18:42), and Kasey McNorton (125th, 18:52).
The rest of the Aggie women’s squad included Leigh Berger (131st, 18:59), Elizabeth Slaughter (137th, 19:09), and Kirsten Brown (138th, 19:10).