Ole Miss Men Win Notre Dame Invitational XC Meet
Sean Tobin wins the Notre Dame Invitational. (photo by Shawn Price)
Sept. 30, 2016

Men's Blue Results | Women's Blue Results | Open Results

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The No. 20 Ole Miss men's cross country team surged to a breakthrough performance on Friday by winning the biggest meet of the weekend, the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational.

Led by junior Sean Tobin's individual victory, the Rebels claimed first out of 25 teams in the 5-mile race, beating out fellow ranked opponents No. 18 UTEP, No. 9 Eastern Kentucky, No. 24 Washington State, No. 23 NC State, No. 30 Texas and No. 30 Florida State, as well as fellow SEC teams Texas A&M (14th place) and Alabama (17th place).

The Rebel women, who are receiving votes in the national poll, also had a good showing in South Bend, finishing seventh as a team in the field of 23. They beat out ranked opponents No. 16 Notre Dame and No. 24 Vanderbilt, along with other conference opponents Texas A&M and Alabama.

"We were very pleased with the result this afternoon for both teams," said Rebel cross country coach Ryan Vanhoy. "It was a nice day for our program having both the men and women compete so well against a field of national-level competition."

Tobin surged late for his big win with a time of 23:31.9, three seconds faster than runner-up George Parsons of NC State. He was followed by senior MJ Erb who finished fourth overall with a 23:52.0 mark in his first race of the season, despite losing his shoe and having to stop to put it back on at the 800-meter mark of the race. The Rebels finished with four runners in the top 25, the most out of any team.

Senior Robert Domanic came in 14th-place to give Ole Miss a 19-30 lead over UTEP through three runners. Senior Wesley Gallagher finished 24th (24:10.8) and junior Mark Robertson 40th (24.23.2) to round out the Ole Miss scorers.

Early on it appeared as if the Miners would cruise as they led the Rebels 48-105 after 4K. Then UTEP saw its lead slip to 57-104 at 5K and finally Ole Miss pulled ahead at 7K.

"The men were aiming to start the season on a high note and they did just that," Vanhoy said. "Sean had the best cross country race of his career leading the way for us and he looked fantastic. MJ managed to run himself all the way back to fourth after losing his shoe, which was huge."

Senior Mary Alex England led the way for the Rebels, claiming the 32nd overall individual finish with a 5K personal-best mark of 16:55.5, followed up by junior Shelby Brown who finished 33rd with her own personal-best mark of 16:58.0.

"Our women had a nice breakthrough as a group and knocked off quite a few teams that were ranked ahead of them nationally," Vanhoy said. "They ran very well as a group and executed our race plan perfectly."

The Rebels will be back in action October 14, when they head off to two meets. One group will travel to State College, Pennsylvania, to run in the Penn State National, and another group will head to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for the Crimson Classic.

"Although we are happy with this weekend's result, there are still some things that we can improve upon and work to be done for both teams," Vanhoy added.

For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field and Cross Country, follow the Rebels on Twitter (@OleMissTrack), Facebook and Instagram.

1. Sean Tobin - 23:31.9
4. MJ Erb - 23:52.0
14. Robert Domanic - 24:00.7
24. Wesley Gallagher - 24:10.8
40. Mark Robertson - 24.23.2
75. Taylor Caldwell - 24:42.9
83. Derek Gutierrez - 24:47.1
91. Craig Engels - 24:51.4

32. Mary Alex England - 16:55.5
33. Shelby Brown - 16:58.0
35. Emily Bean - 16:59.5
36. Bo Ummels - 16:59.6
51. Britt Ummels - 17:10.9
67. Hannah Christen - 17:20.3
82. Anna Braswell - 17:31.2
106. Anna Elkin - 17:48.0
127. Katherine MacNeal - 18:00.8

7. Brandon Harvey -- 25:22.2
22. Nolan Hesse -- 26:13.9
49. Abraham Merinar -- 27:18.1

5. Julia England -- 17:40.8
8. Nicole Park -- 17:43.8
23. Haley Ward -- 18:27.0






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