Notre Dame girls storm to 700th all-time cross country win

After being narrowly denied their milestone last week, Notre Dame’s girls cross country runners weren’t going to let that happen again.

“We were eager to get to 700 wins.” Crusader junior Olivia Schweitzer said.

The Notre Dame boys had made it to 700 a couple of weeks back,

and the girls joined them Tuesday afternoon at Palmerton.

The Crusaders went 6-0 on the day at the Colonial League affair, with a 25-35 win over Saucon Valley,

20-40 over Northwestern Lehigh, and 15-49 over Northern Lehigh plus 15-50 decision over Palisades,

Moravian Academy, and the hosts. Notre Dame won the race by putting its top six runners –

 Schweitzer (21:12), Lauren Bower, Katherine Koons, Samantha Karwacki, Brenna Hammerstone and Ella Schweitzer –

 in fifth through 10th places (in the order given), all within 19 seconds of each other in a formidable display of pack running.

That makes over 1,400 career wins for Notre Dame’s legendary wizard of running events, Art Corrigan.

This week’s celebration went off without a hitch, unlike last week’s planned one,

 which was foiled when Southern Lehigh edged the Crusaders, 26-29, in a meet ran at Saucon Valley.

It would be hard to imagine Notre Dame not doing so, as the top two teams advance to states from District 11 1A.

Schweitzer is a big reason why the Crusaders are enjoying considerable success.

She brings speed to the mix – she can run the 400-meter dash in track season and said she “loves” the 800 – and perseverance as well.

“I have been through a lot, personally,” she said. “My freshman year I was out the entire (cross country) season and most of the track season (injured).

 I was very eager to get back to running. I wish was a better than I am. Now, I train even harder.”

“Mentality is a really big part of cross country,” she said. “Your mind is stronger than your body.

If you think of giving up, your body will give up. The body can do a lot with the right mentality.”

Schweitzer admits there have been races where stopping at least occurred to her.

“There have been a few,” she said. “At states last year, it was a tough race. When we started,

 there was still frost on the grass. It was cold, very, very cold. It was hilly.

One of my teammates was throwing up the entire race. I knew how important it was for the team,

With the milestone of 700 wins out of the way, the Crusaders turn their focus to more team goals.

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