Not sure if the blame is on Joe's final years of recruiting, or if the current development under Turner/Sparks is the culprit - regardless, what was once a perenial top 10 national qualibre program (late 80s through early/mid 00s), began to slide into the 20s at the end of Piane's tenure and now will miss Nationals for the 3rd consecutive year (first time in 35 years that will happen).
Recruiting distance guys to ND should be about as easy as it gets - sure, there are a few (as in maybe 5 schools) which definatly have a stronger pitch based on location/academics/history (Ore, Stan, CU, Ark, and I guess Nova if someone has a real appreciation for history) - but there is no excuse to be waddling in 10th place in the f**king ACC
... Michigan and Indiana all have good programs and academics. As an example, look at Wisconsin's Big Ten championships and string of making the Nationals over the past several decades.
ND's slide has been very disappointing.
out of state cost of attendance at WI is 47K. ND's is somewhere in the high 60s.
A family paying 3/4s of WI vs 3/4s of ND's is much better financial position.
sure there's lots of value in the ND education. But, it's a tough sell.
... fact that Wisconsin's program in cross country is arguably the best in the Midwest, and one of the best in the nation. ND doesn't have a recruiting advantage even if the costs were even. And UW doesn't just draw from the Midwest. They have two from Sydney, Australia (including the new Big 10 champ) and the top runner from Washington a few years ago (a graduate of a Catholic high school as well).
I watched the girls race on the attached link. Anna won by over 25 seconds over the second place girl from BC. ND had 74 points to NC State with 53 points. Heffernan's sixth place time was 20.04.99 and Aragon's 9th was 20.19. Also in addition to the dominating Rohrer performance you can see a tremendous sportsmanship moment at at the 23 minute mark which shows a BC girl collapsing 30 yards from the finish and a Clemson & Louisville girl carrying her to the finish which she needed to crawl over to get a time. The boys race is also on ESPN3/ACCN replay but a different link.
Also I have a question for anyone who knows, why did they let this ACC championship still be held in North Carolina when the football championship and NCAA's were changed. Just wondering.
They would move all "neutral-site" championships. The XC championship was hosted at and by Wake Forest.
Also, as side note to the show of sportsmanship, the BC runner was DQ'd for receiving assistance. The Clemson and Louisville runners were not.