The Slippery Rock University women’s cross-country team continued their fast start to the season with another second place finish Saturday at the Don Cathcart Invitational in Salisbury, Maryland.
SRU was one of 15 universities to compete at the event. Christopher Newport University edged the Rock out of first place with a score of 51, while the Green and White’s 61 points were good enough to take second place. Following SRU were Kutztown University in third with 111 points, Mansfield University in fourth with 117 points, and rounding out the top five schools was Mary Washington University with 119 points.
The Green and White placed three runners in the top 15 and eight runners in the top 30. Three pairs of Rock runners finished the race in back-to-back places. The Rock’s top athlete was Junior Jenny Picot who finished in second place and now has two top five finishes on the season. Picot’s time of 22:27 was bested only by Natalie Young of Mary Washington who finished the race with a time of 22:21.
The Rock’s other two runners in the top 15 were sophomore Kaylee Haberkam and freshman Tessa Dombi. Haberkam and Dombi finished back-to-back in 12th and 13th place with times of 22:50 and 22:52 respectivly. Senior Angelica Bagwell also finished within the top 20 in 16 place with a time of 22:55.
The battle to be SRU’s fifth and final scorer was a close one between senior Janine Powis and junior Brittany Fagan. Powis finished just ahead of Fagan in 20 place with a time of 22:59. With Fagan finishing in 21st with a time of 23:03.
Rounding out the Green and White’s top runners were junior Jessica Bennett (28 place, 23:21) and freshman Mattie Dunham (29 place, 23:22), who were the third pair of SRU runners to finish the race back-to-back.
The 17 SRU women averaged a time of 22:49, which was the second best average time by any school at the competition, only behind Christopher Newport at 22:45.
“The ladies that weren’t in the top five in the first meet were in the top five at this meet,” SRU head coach John Papa said. “It’s nice to see ladies be able to step up and contribute. At the beginning of the year you can’t count on the new kids, you expect the veterans to carry the load. It’s a big boost when the new kids can take some of the load.”
Papa said a top five conference finish is no longer in doubt, and his new goal for the team is a top three in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and compete at Regionals.
Dombi said that this race was much better than her first race, and that she likes running with her older teammates and seeing how hard they work.
“This race just felt a lot better, I ran a very consistent race and it just had a better feel,” Dombi said. “Running with girls like Jenny and Janine really give me something to chase after.”
SRU will return to action at home on Thursday, Oct. 11 when they host the Mack Cooper College Invitational.