Lions Impress with Seventh Place Finish at National Catholic Championships

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Running in the 34th annual National Catholic Championships, the Saint Leo University men's cross country team made a solid first impression, securing a seventh place overall finish out of a field of 22 non-division I schools on Friday afternoon.

Sophomore Carl Dunne led the Lions on the afternoon, crossing the finish line in an 8k time of 26:10.1 for an eighth place finish.

Freshman Rafal Matuszczak was close behind, finishing with a time of 26:27.3, good for 11th place.

Niclas Bez and  Valentin Lenz completed the 8k course in 27.25.3 and  27:31.1, respectively, followed by Christopher Westfall with a time of 28:03.0.

Freshman James Mullen crossed the tape in 28:21.2, and Rafael Lohner rounded out the seven man squad with a finish time of 31:37.5

This year's event marks the 34th time the Fighting Irish have hosted race, and was a first of hopefully many for the Lions.  In total, 37 Catholic universities and colleges competed in the three races, with 27 schools hailing from the Division II, Division III or NAIA conferences.

Overall, Aquinas College took first place in the non-division I field, while Robert Sandlin from Bellarmine claimed the top individual spot.

The Lions return to action on Friday, September 27, when they travel to Titusville, Fla. to participate in the FLrunners.com Invitational.  Start time is slated for 6:20 p.m.

For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men's cross country team, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.