The GW women’s cross country team earned first place at the Mount Saint Mary’s Invitational Saturday, led by freshman Lindsay Blum’s first place finish in the women’s 5k race. The men’s team placed fourth in the 8k race in Emmitsburg, Md.
Blum finished first of 84 runners, setting a season personal record (19:16.22). Sophomores Mary Beth McCullough (9th, 20:03.93), Erin Patton (10th, 20:04.28) and Emily Jadwin (11th, 20:06.58) followed Blum. Freshman Shelly Bury rounded out the top four coming in 13th at 20:16:66.
“We were not surprised by Blum’s win,” senior Laura Jennings said. “We were lucky to recruit some really strong freshmen this year.”
The four other runners clinched the win for GW by tightly grouping up behind Blum, compiling 44 points. They came in just under Mount Saint Mary’s second-place total of 48. Kutztown University placed third with 51 points.
“With such a strong base of performers, they are able to work together in packs, which will help them during championship races,” head coach Deb Cane said.
Three runners on the men’s team finished in the top twenty en route to the Colonials’ fourth place finish. The top three Colonials, juniors Darrell Andruski and Dave Azari and senior David Talbird, led the team, placing ninth, 11th and 16th, respectively, using each other to push themselves to the finish line all within 26 minutes.
GW’s fourth runner, Phil Sherman, finished in 28:28:45. Sherman technically finished the race 42nd , but scored 35th place points because other runners dropped out. Overall, the Colonials came out with 115 points, four places behind the winning team, U.S. Naval Academy (38 points).
Next weekend the cross-country team will host its only home meet, the GW Invitational, Saturday at Bull Run Park in Centreville, Va. The men will attempt to improve on last year’s fourth place result, while the women will try to improve their tenth place ranking. Jennings said the team’s training will increase in intensity over the rest of the season.
“Our training schedule will basically go heavier on the speed and less on the mileage, as the season progresses, to train for the A-10 conference,” Jennings said.