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McDaniel, Kasal Pace Blue Demons at National Catholic Championships
Junior Eddie McDaniel paced the Blue Demons with a 14th-place finish.

Junior Eddie McDaniel paced the Blue Demons with a 14th-place finish.

Sept. 14, 2012

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Led by junior Eddie McDaniel on the men's side and sophomore Jacqueline Kasal on the women's side, the DePaul men's and women's cross country squads finished strong in the National Catholic Cross Country Championships on Friday afternoon. Hosted by the University of Notre Dame, the Blue Demons were up against 33 other men's and women's teams.

Notoriously a difficult race, the National Catholic Championships at the Notre Dame Cross Country Course lived up to its reputation once again.

First, in the women's 5K race, Kasal paced the DePaul runners. Kasal completed the race in a time of 18:34.6, good for 32nd among the 266 competitors. Even better, Kasal's time at the National Catholic Championships blew away her 5K time from last week's NIU Open--shaving off over 30 seconds--and setting a new career-best mark.

"Jackie Kasal ran a really great race and proved a lot from last week," DePaul assistant coach Leah Bohr said following the championships. "She's on a good track to have a great season." 

Behind her, Molly Shiroishi finished up in a time of 19:42.1 in front of Hannah Pulliam (19:59.1), Michelle Allen (20:32.4), Blair Bartosiewicz (20:38.7) and Colleen Earl (21:19.6).

The men's side saw McDaniel--the reigning BIG EAST Conference Cross Country Athlete of the Week--sport another top-15 finish. McDaniel posted a five-mile time of 25:04, 48 seconds off race-winner Jeremy Rae of host Notre Dame.

After McDaniel came Max Clink who registered a notable 25:55 time to earn 32nd among the competition. Both with strong races, McDaniel and Clink boosted the men's team finish. 

"The mens team did really well," Bohr noted. "They did some good things for this point in the season and they are progressing nicely.

Next in line for the Blue Demons was Zak Koronkiewicz whose 26:11 time placed him just outside the top-50. Seconds later, freshman Andrew Diehn, who ran one of the strongest races among the freshman in the field, crossed the finish line at 26:14 in his first-ever 8K race. Sophomore Herald Alvarez followed suit, crossing at 26:28.

Following Alvarez's time was that of Eric Shan, one of four runners to finish at the 26:56 mark. Rounding out the field for DePaul were seniors Tyler Schmitt (27:40) and Max Rodrigues (27:40).

With no races scheduled for the next two weekends, the DePaul cross country teams will ready for the Lucian Rosa Invitational on Saturday, October 6 in Parkside, Wis.