Cross Country: Huth leads way as Cats finish second at Notre Dame

John Paschall and John Paschall

If 30 to 40 miles per hour winds and sloppy weather can’t stop Audrey Huth, what can?

The junior runner won the Gold Division at the very fast track of the Notre Dame Invitational by 16 seconds and led the Wildcats to a second-place finish out of 20 teams Friday. Northwestern finished behind only Grand Valley State University, which is the reigning Division II national champion. Senior Sophie Ewald was the second Cats athlete to cross the line, finishing in 10th place.

“We raced really well,” coach April Likhite said. “What was good was that our gap between Audrey and our number two wasn’t quite as big. Our depth is there. It just needs to get a little closer to our number one runner. That’s our goal for the next two weeks.”

While the Cats had the event’s top finisher and showed improved depth, the Lakers showed even more depth with three runners finishing in the top five.

Friday was also a day of personal bests for NU as Huth, Ewald, senior Rachel Kaminski, sophomore Ann Powers, junior Lauren Neuschel, senior Molly Waterhouse and junior Moira Ryan all set season-best times in the 5K event.

“Traditionally, this course usually runs pretty fast,” Ewald said. “But the conditions were not great which didn’t allow some of us to run our fastest.”

Ewald said she is excited about how the places after Huth always seem to be alternating between different players, showcasing NU’s depth.

“It’s fun to see how much some of our top positions have changed whether it’s Ashley, Rachel or Moira,” Ewald said. “Some teams have a top three or a top five that’s usually always set. I’m proud of us for being able to challenge each other and keep progressing.”

The squad has this weekend off and doesn’t race until October 14 at the University of Wisconsin Invitational, the first meet this year in which the majority of the Big Ten will be present.

“It’s a huge race,” Likhite said.

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