|Follow PSU Cross Country:||Follow @PennStateTFXC|
Oct. 1, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After not competing since the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational (Sept. 13), the Penn State cross country teams are back in action this Friday at the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind. The Notre Dame Invitational features nationally-ranked teams in both the men's and women's races.
The women's race slated for 4:15 p.m., will be a 5k and the men will be running five miles starting at 5 p.m. The meet is held at the Notre Dame Golf Course in South Bend, Ind.
This weekend will prove to be an early test for both Penn State cross country teams as there are three ranked teams and six teams receiving votes in the women's race. In the men's race, there are 10 ranked teams and two teams receiving votes. This will be the first opportunity of the year for the Penn State cross country teams to earn points towards qualifying for 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships in November.
No. 12 New Mexico headlines the women's race and the No. 10 BYU Cougars enter as the top-ranked team in the men's race. Regionally, 23 out of the 24 teams in the women's race are ranked in their respective regions and all 24 teams in the men's race are ranked in their respective regions.
Last Time Out
On a cold, wet Saturday morning/afternoon, the Penn State men's and women's cross country teams both captured team titles at the 2014 Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational. Fifth-year senior Matt Fischer (Kennett Square, Pa.) captured the individual title in the men's race as he finished the 5.2-mile course in a time of 26 minutes, 12 seconds and on the women's side, freshman Elizabeth Chikotas (Hellertown, Pa.) tallied a third-place finish to lead the Nittany Lions; Chikotas finished the 6,000-meter race in 21:04.
The then-No. 29 Penn State women tallied a score of 27 points to claim the team title, while then-No. 13 Syracuse finished second with their score of 38 points and then-No. 20 West Virginia took fifth with a score of 133 points.
On the men's side, seven points separated the top-three teams. Penn State claimed the men team title with their score of 41 points. No. 8 Syracuse and then-No. 29 Georgetown finished second and third, respectively with their scores of 47 and 48 points.
Last Time at Notre Dame
Running in rainy and windy conditions, senior Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.) turned in a 12th-place finish individually, leading the Nittany Lion women's squad to a fourth-place standing at the 2011 Adidas Notre Dame, at the Notre Dame Golf Course. The women's squad also knocked off a pair of ranked teams in the effort, upending No. 22 and regional foe Princeton, as well as No. 29 BYU. The Nittany Lions finished 14th in the men's standings, paced by a 27th-place effort from senior Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.).
The Penn State cross country teams enter this weekend with the women's team ranked No. 30 in the land and the men are currently receiving votes (18). Both Penn State cross country teams are ranked third in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The Penn State women's cross country team tallied a 25th-place finish at the 2013 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, which was their fifth-straight appearance at the NCAA meet.
The men are led by fifth-year senior Matt Fischer (Kennett Square, Pa.), who posted a third-place finish at the 2013 Big Ten Cross Country Championships and qualified for his first trip to the NCAA meet with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional. Fischer ended the 2013 cross country season with a 78th-place finish at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.
Coming off his third-consecutive Dolan Duals title, Creese was named the Big Ten Men's Cross Country Athlete of Week, as announced by the league office on Sept. 9. Creese opened the 2014 season as he won his third Dolan Duals title with a final time of 17 minutes, 49.48 seconds as he led the Nittany Lions to a first-place finish at the season-opening meet in Lock Haven, Pa. Creese's 6k time from the Dolan Duals was the fastest in the Big Ten over the weekend. This is the second career award for Creese; he won the award in 2012 after winning the Dolan Duals.
The Penn State men's and women's cross country teams return home on Oct. 11, to host the Penn State National at the Blue-White Golf Course.
For more on Nittany Lion cross country, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.