XC goes 1, 2 in home invitational

Heidi Nichols

The Quinnipiac women’s cross-country team had an exciting weekend at home, finishing first overall at Saturday’s Quinnipiac Invitational.

The meet was run on Quinnipiac’s 5K course, which starts at the soccer field, heads down New Road, goes to the beginning of Mount Carmel Avenue, heads back down to the soccer field, goes around New Village and arrives back to the field to the finish line.

Quinnipiac ran for a meet-best score of 19, in which freshman Becca White finished first overall with a time of 17:58. White was named the Northeast Conference women’s cross-country Rookie of the Week last week, and seemed very happy with the team’s results.

“I was not expecting it at all,” White said of her first place finish. “I was just trying to stay with the rest of the Quinnipiac runners.”

White named sophomore Morgan Roche, who placed second overall with a time of 18:06, as her main competition during the race. Roche, who was NEC’s 2008 Rookie of the Year and last week’s NEC Athlete of the Week, was also impressed with the team’s efforts.

“This first weekend we were really able to put the team together,” Roche said. Roche also commented that the team this year “is very good and young as well, with lots of potential.”

Other top Quinnipiac runners included senior Kristen Stevens, who placed fourth (18:29), senior Lindsey Pierret, who was the fifth overall runner (18:40), and junior Kelly Sorrell, who finished seventh (18:48).

Sacred Heart University finished second overall, followed by Monmouth University. Yale, Central Connecticut and Mount St. Mary’s finished fourth through sixth, respectively, while Bryant, Long Island, Farleigh Dickinson, St. Francis and Wagner also competed in the invitational.

Head coach Carolyn Martin was excited about the effort that her team put forth.

“The women were fabulous,” she said. “They all ran what I expected and were a powerhouse. Everyone ran strong and confident as a group.”

Martin’s goals for the rest of the season include “breaking the top 10 in the region,” since the team was ranked 13th prior to the Invitational. Taking the conference championship, Martin said, would also be huge. Martin was very excited about White’s strong finish as a freshman.

“I thought it was great,” Martin said. “I knew she’d be a contender. It was a surprise, but a great surprise.”

Next up for the Bobcats on Oct. 2 is Lehigh Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.