Carrying over their success from last year, the Slippery Rock University women’s cross-country team started the season off with a second place finish this past Friday at the SRU 125 Anniversary Invitational.
Friday’s meet was the first of the season for the Green and White, who will be hosting two more collegiate meets this season, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division ll Atlantic Regional Championship.
A top three finish in the first meet of the year puts the team in a good position to get a top five conference finish by the end of the season. Bloomsburg University finished in first place with 44 points, while the Rock and Carnegie Mellon University tied for second place with 64 points each.
Seton Hill University scored 73 points, placing them in fourth. 97 points from Mansfield University gave them fifth place. Clarion University had 188 points to finish off the top six schools.
The Green and White placed two athletes in the top 10, four runners in the top 15 and eight in the top 30. Junior Jenny Picot started the season off strong, placing fifth with a time of 23:40, followed by senior Janine Powis in ninth place with a time of 24:02 to complete SRU’s top 10 runners.
The rest of SRU’s scorers were senior Angelica Bagwell, who took 11 place with 24:24, junior Brittany Fagan who finished in 15 place with a time of 24:28, and freshman Erin Allison with a time of 24:56, taking 24 place. Sophomore Kaylee Haberkam took 26 place with a time of 24:59, freshman Melissa Rains took 27 place with a time of 25:04, and freshman Tess Dombi finished in 29 place with a time of 25:11 rounded out the Rock’s top seven runners.
The Rock’s top five runners averaged a time of 24:17. A total of 15 runners from SRU competed in the race and 74 runners competed overall.
“I’m feeling pretty good about our ladies team,” SRU head coach John Papa said. “We typically start out a little slow, so we’re in pretty good shape.”
Powis said that she thought the team had a good race, and that they will have a good season.
“The team overall, I think, did really good; it was better than I expected,” Powis said. “Our top five were a lot closer than I thought they’d be. I think we’re going to be strong this year.”
Powis said that she expects herself to have a better race in the future.
“For me, I was just getting the first time of the season jitters out, so hopefully I’ll be better next time,” Powis said.
The Rock will take a week off from competition before trying to continue the early success they’ve seen thus far on Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Don Cathcart Invitational in Salisbury, Maryland.