Sept. 6, 2002
BOONE, N.C. - The Maryland men's and women's cross country teams raced to impressive finishes at the Covered Bridge Open today at the State Farm Field in Boone. The women beat out five other teams to capture first place, and the men took second, finishing only behind the host school, Appalachian State.
Appalachian's Mike Reed took top honors in the mens 8k race with a time of 25:54.5. Maryland's Adam Ambrus and Mike Prada finished in second and third place with times of 25:58.3 and 26:03.2, respectively. Other top-ten finishers for the Terps were Matt Adami, in eighth, and Mike Fleg, in ninth.
The men's second-place finish is a dramatic improvement from the team's first performance last season, where it finished fifth out of six teams at the Navy Invitational. Additionally, Adam Ambrus, Matt Adami and Mike Fleg all began their seasons with lower times than in 2001.
The Maryland women showed an equally impressive beginning to the competition season by edging out Appalachian State by four points to take the women's team title. Top individual honors in the 5k race went to Winthrop's Stephanie Vangsne with a time of 18:12.5. Maryland's top finisher was freshman Katie Purcell, who won third place with a time of 18:33.5. Also finishing in the top ten was freshman Cori Koch, in sixth, and junior Kim Smith, in eigth.
Premiering in first place at the meet is especially remarkable, considering the team was unable to capture a team title at an away meet last year. This season, the team was able to benefit right away from talented newcomers that put up great times in their first collegiate race. Also, veteran runners Kim Smith, Lora Stutzman and Bridget Baker finished the meet with lower times than in their first race of 2001.
The Terps' next challenge will be on Sept. 14, as they return to the Navy Invitational in Annapolis, Md.