By: Chris Behler
National Catholic Invitational, held this past weekend at Notre Dame, proved to be one of the strongest races yet this season for Xavier’s cross country program.
The women’s team finished second overall among Division I schools, and the men finished eighth overall and second out of the Big East teams at the competition.
Prior to the race, senior Abby Fischer was awarded Big East Female Athlete of the Week after her stellar performance in the Queen City Invitational.
Fischer continued her solid performance at the National Catholic Invitational with a fourth place finish, just two places ahead of her sister, senior Clare Fischer, who recorded a sixth place finish.
Not far behind were senior Jessica Albers, sophomore Sarah Mazzei and junior Audrey Ramos, all of whom finished within 13 seconds of each other.
Even with a depleted squad, the men’s team finished in a strong spot at eighth overall. Junior Connor Buchholz finished 28th on the day with a time of 26:20.4.
Freshmen Aaron Peterson and Carter Macey finished in the top 50 within 11 seconds of each other.
Considering his team’s youth, head coach Ryan Orner said the race “was a good learning experience for them against some quality teams.”
From here both teams will split their squads up, sending a JV team to the All-Ohio Championship on Oct. 4 in Cedarville, Ohio and a varsity squad to the Paul Short Invitational on Oct. 5 in Lehigh, Pa.