SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Oct. 4 – Southern Utah’s men raced to a ninth-place team finish at the Notre Dame Invitational on Friday, placing ahead of nationally ranked Florida State and Michigan. Ryan Barrus led the men to a top-ten showing with a 21st-place individual finish.
“These results really demonstrate the talent we’ve got in the program this year and how far they’ve come,” head coach Eric Houle said. “It was a very successful meet for us and now I feel that we could be right on the threshold of making it to the national championships.”
Barrus crossed the finish line first for the Thunderbirds, recording a five-mile time of 24:50.9 and placing 21st individually. Dylan Marx and Anthony Brown scored next for Southern Utah, placing 53rd and 57th with respective times of 25:16.9 and 25:23.0. John Hart followed in 84th place with a time of 25:39.3 while Mike Tate rounded out the men’s score with a 92nd-place time of 25:44.1.
The men’s combined efforts tallied a score of 283, placing the team among nationally ranked teams from around the country. The T-Birds came in just behind the hosting Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (7th) and Virginia (8th) while placing ahead of Florida State (10th) and Michigan (25th). Notre Dame had entered the meet ranked 22nd in Division I, while Virginia ranked 24th, Florida State ranked 26th and Michigan ranked 29th.
Southern Utah’s women also raced at Notre Dame, placing 23rd as a team with a score of 660. Shelli Mogensen finished first for the SUU women with a 107th-place time of 18:31.6 in the 5k while Dayna VanArsdol followed with a 132nd-place time of 18:48.0. Rachel Stone (19:01.3) and Sierra Malm (19:03.3) came next with 150th- and 155th-place finishes, while Josie Brandow (19:04.7) rounded out the women’s score with a 159th-place finish.
“With the women, we are really working on rebuilding after having so many graduate last spring,” Houle continued. “Putting them in big meets like this helps them learn to handle pressure until it is no longer a big deal.”
The Thunderbirds will now have two weeks to prepare for their next competition on the national stage, the NCAA Pre-Nationals. The Indiana State-hosted meet is set to take place Oct. 19 in Terre Haute, Ind.