KERNERSVILLE, N.C. – Becky Yep led Maryland to the finish line at the Atlantic Coast Conference Cross Country Championships for the second straight year Friday as the Terrapins placed 14th in the women’s team standings.
Yep, a senior from Ellicott City, Md., finished the 6-kilometer course in 22:16.7. She rallied over the course of the final two kilometers to finish 78th in the field of 140 finishers.
The Terrapins finished with 404 points, just 15 points behind Georgia Tech and five behind Pittsburgh.
Yep also paced the Terps at both championship meets last year, leading Maryland to the line at the 2012 ACCs and regionals.
“We had some decent things happen today,” said Maryland assistant coach Matt Jelley . “We executed our plan most of the last two-thirds of the race. The problem was we just went out too slow and the race got away from us at the beginning.
“After the first mile or so, even the people who ran up front didn’t pull away from us or run much faster than we did.”
Junior Myah Hicks was 84th overall on Friday in 22:24.3, while senior Bridget Nolan also rallied near the end of the race, moving up six places over the final two kilometers to finish 95th in 22:37.9.
Senior Julie Sinkovitz gained 24 places over the final four kilometers to place 105th in 22:56.1, with sophomore Catherine Sheffo in the final scoring spot for Maryland at 111th at 23:07.7. It was Sheffo’s second time in the last two meets in which she broke into the team’s top five.
“Becky did a nice job leading us,” Jelley said. “Myah ran a tough race, and Julie Sinkovitz, without having a lot of experience, you saw how fast she closed over the last 4,000 meters.”
Freshman Sydney Almeida was in the sixth spot for the team at 23:18.3, with sophomore Katie Nappi seventh for the Terps at 23:24.7.
Maryland packed all five of its scorers within 51 seconds at the finish line, continuing a trend this season of less than a minute for its 1-to-5 split.
“For everyone, it was the same story, we all made the same mistake,” said Jelley. “They found each other in the race and did a good job of running as a pack. The team average (22:40) was still what we needed it to be. We felt comfortable and saw all the teammates near us. We just didn’t realize everybody did pretty much the same thing.”
The Terrapins were running without talented freshman Hannah Mansbach, who was lost for the cross country season due to injury. Mansbach had top-10 individual finishes in each of Maryland’s first two events this season.
Florida State, ranked fifth in the nation entering the meet, won its sixth straight women’s team championship. The Seminoles finished with 52 points, just edging 10th-ranked Virginia, which finished with 65.
FSU put three runners in the top eight and all five of its scorers in the top 19.
Senior Juliet Bottorff of Duke won the individual championship in 20:05.9. Florida State junior Colleen Quigley was second in 20:13.9 and junior Liv Westphal of Boston College was third in 20:15.9.
Maryland will finish its season on Friday, Nov. 15 at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals at Lehigh University.