Buckeyes Head to Notre Dame to Face the Best of the Best

Go Buckeyes! Tori Brink.
Go Buckeyes!
Tori Brink.
Go Buckeyes!

Sept. 29, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's cross country team will head to Notre Dame this Friday to face several of the nation's top teams at the Adidas Notre Dame Invitational.

With two meets under their belt and coming off of a 4k race, the Buckeyes are looking to move up in the regional rankings and score well this weekend with a burst of momentum. Freshman Nicole Hilton and redshirt senior Jordan Jennewineare expected to make an impact for the Buckeyes as they have been the leading runners so far this season.

"This week we will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing performance at Toledo," distance coach Chris Neal said. "We have had a great week of training and are excited to get back on the cross country course. Last week we had a couple of girls coming off being sick and they just did not race as well as we would have expected them too. At Notre Dame we will again be facing a field with some very tough nationally-ranked teams and we will hopefully get out well and race tough from the gun."

Ohio State will run in the Blue Division 5k race, which is scheduled to start at 4:15 p.m. at the Notre Dame Golf Course. A complete recap will be available after the race at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

Scouting the Field
Six teams competing in the Blue Division are also nationally ranked in the top 30 according to the Sept. 27 rankings from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The biggest competition at the meet will be No. 2 New Mexico and No. 7 Florida State. Ohio State will also face No. 18 Arkansas, No. 22 Princeton and No. 23 BYU. Rounding out the ranked competitors is No. 28 and Big Ten rival Penn State. Penn State and Ohio State are the lone Big Ten teams competing in the meet.



Blue Division Teams
Air Force
No. 18 Arkansas
No. 23 BYU
No. 7 Florida State
Fresno State
James Madison
No. 2 New Mexico
Notre Dame
Ohio State
No. 28 Penn State
No. 22 Princeton
Stony Brook
Texas A&M
Utah State
Washington State
Weber State

Buckeyes at the 2010 Notre Dame Invitational
Last season the Scarlet and Gray gave it their all at the Notre Dame Invitational where they finished 16th in the Blue Division. The Buckeyes faced a loaded field, including nine nationally-ranked teams. Ohio State competed in the Invitational after not participating for two years and improved on their 2007 finish by one spot.

Senior captain Sarah Lowe was unable to compete but then freshman sensation Meredith Wagner ran well for Ohio State to take 35th in 17:22. Ellen Birmingham(17:34) was the second Buckeye to finish and she took 55th. Villanova, who was ranked No. 1 at the time, took home the gold.

Ohio State in the USTFCCCA Regional Rankings
The Buckeyes are ranked eighth in the Great Lakes region according to the USTFCCCA. Big Ten rival Michigan leads the poll ranked No. 1 followed by No. 2 Michigan State. No. 4 Indiana, No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 11 Purdue round out the Big Ten presence in the Great Lakes regional rankings.

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The women's track and field and cross country programs are on Facebook. Visit www.facebook.com/OSUwtrackXC to get the latest news and notes on the Buckeyes.

Last Time Out
Last Friday Ohio State finished seventh at the 4k Toledo Inter-Regional Bubble Buster. Hilton led the team finishing 15th in 13:51.9. Jennewine also made the top 30 placing 28th in 14:10.0.

Ten newcomers stepped onto the course for the Buckeyes and were able to gain valuable experience as they saw race day action early in their careers.

Up Next
The Buckeyes will compete at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational Oct. 14 in Madison, Wis.