Sept. 28, 2007
South Bend, IN – The men’s cross country team got its toughest test to date this season and responded with a 15th-place finish out of 23 teams in the blue division race of the 52nd Notre Dame Invitational. The Tigers were without the services of senior star Matt Clark, who injured his ankle earlier this week. The Hyannis, MA native did not make the trip.
“There’s no question his injury affected us,” said Bob Pollock, head coach at Clemson. “But other individuals have to step up when someone goes down. We didn’t get that today. We had an OK performance, but I’m glad we got to compete against these type of teams.”
Host school Notre Dame won the event with a total of 96 points, while N.C. State was runner-up at 106 total. Providence finished third with 124, while Michigan was fourth at 138 points.
Sam Bryfczynski was the team’s top performer Friday with a career-best 8K time of 24:53. He ran a “consistent” race according to Pollock and topped his previous best effort of 24:55.5 at Pre-Nationals last season.
Matt Bruce, a freshman from Ontario, Canada, was the team’s #2 finisher Friday with a time of 25:10. He was slightly ahead of Bryce Iverson, who had a time of 25:12. Iverson got off to a strong start with a time of 4:37 over the first mile, but he was unable to sustain that pace for the duration of the event.
Will Noble finished 91st in the field of 178 harriers. He, too, recorded his best-ever time at 8000 meters. His time at the finish line was 25:29. His previous best had been 25:50 at the Greater Louisville Classic in 2006.
The final scorer for the Tigers on Friday was senior Brian Soder, who crossed the finish line with a time of 26:05. He finished 129th in the field, but earned 121 points for the team when taking unattached runners into consideration.
Also competing for the team on Friday were freshmen Chad Holt (142nd place, 26:18), Chris Slate (151st place, 26:31) and Tyler Morey (160th place, 26:53). Pollock’s team had a 1:12 split between its first and fifth-place finishers Friday evening.
The team’s next competition will be in Terre Haute, IN for the Pre-NCAA Championships meet on October 13.
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