MSU Squads Compete at Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Mississippi State's cross country teams returned to action on Friday, Oct. 1 at the 49th annual Notre Dame Invitational. The meet was held at the Burke Memorial Golf Course.

For the Lady Bulldogs, the meet was a true test of endurance. MSU faced several teams ranked among the top 30 in the country. Stanford's women defended their No. 1 ranking by capturing the overall meet title with a score of 34. Michigan followed with 84 points. Host Notre Dame (127), Missouri (164), and Michigan State (174) closed out the top five.

"This was a pretty incredible race," said women's head coach Al Schmidt said. "This race featured 24 teams that were all really good. We ran well, but we do have room for improvement."

Team-wise, MSU finished ahead of SEC opponents Florida and Vanderbilt. The only regional team to finish ahead of the Lady Bulldogs was Florida State.

Individually, junior Jennifer McPherson and senior Meggan Hodge finished in the top 40 for State. McPherson finished in 17:38, just two seconds better than Hodge (17:40).

Junior Zita Magliore finished 69th with her time of 18:00. The top freshman finisher for the Lady Bulldogs was Crystal Lake, Ill. native Jacqui Aubert. Aubert completed the race in 18:48 for a 140th-place showing overall.

On the men's side, MSU faced the same challenge the women did in taking on some of the top teams in the country. Stanford captured the meet title with a score of 89. Host Notre Dame (95) came in second, while Butler (112), Air Force (113), and BYU (126) rounded out the top five.

Sophomore Travis McKay was the top finisher for MSU. McKay completed the course in 25:26 and finished 117th overall. Fellow sophomore Dustin Fier finished just seconds behind McKay at 25:44. His time was good enough for 134th.

State's lone senior, Gedamu Ege finished 149th with a time of 25:58.

MSU had three freshmen compete in the men's junior varsity race. Will McGee finished 19th in that race with a time of 26:22. Paul Bahamondes finished 38th overall (27:21). Rounding out the competitors for MSU was Pad Judd (27:33, 44th).

Both MSU squads return to action on October 11 when they travel to the Auburn Invitational in Auburn, Ala.

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