The GW men?_s cross country team displayed the fruits of its pre-season effort Saturday afternoon, finishing third out of six teams in the U.S. Naval Academy Invitational at Annapolis, Md. Freshman Darrell Andruski led the Colonials in his debut, placing 15th out of 60 runners. Andruski finished the five-mile course in 26:02, just 52 seconds behind Navy?_s Justin Mikolay, who won the race with a time of 25:10.
Head Coach Jim Hopkins said his team fared well, but his top seven runners must finish closer in order for the team to reach its potential.
We did well, Hopkins said. Navy just has an outstanding team. The key for us to get better is for our fifth, sixth and seventh runners to get up with our first four runners.
Navy held the first ten places to win the meet with a team-low score of 15. The University of Maryland-Baltimore County finished second with 66 total points, followed by GW with 74. Other GW notables were sophomores David Talbird (26:16), and Matt Kascak (26:18), who finished 17th and 18th, respectively.
On the women?_s side, the Colonials did not fare quite as well as the men, finishing fifth with a team score of 129. Navy won the meet with a team score of 22, while the University of Maryland finished second with 61 total team points. Hopkins said the course was very long, adding about a minute and a half onto his runners?_ usual times.
We did not run well, Hopkins said. This showing does not show how hard they?_re training. We just need to keep working hard, have faith, and soon we?_ll start racing well.
Leading the Colonial women was junior Jenee Peterson, who paced the 5,000-meter course in a time of 22:24.70. Peterson finished 23rd out of 63 competitors for GW, followed by senior Brande Dietrich (23:22.40), who finished in 33rd place.
Cross country will next race at the University of Maryland Invitational Sept. 23.