Sept. 22, 1999
COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- The University of Maryland men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Manassas, Va., this weekend to compete at the George Washington Invitational on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Both the men's and women's teams consist primarily of underclassmen this year, and head coach Dan Rincon is eager to see how his squad will fare. This weekend's meet should provide an accurate indication of where the team stands versus other top competition. George Washington will welcome over a dozen schools in addition to Maryland this Saturday, making this meet the largest at which the Terps have competed this season.
Both the men's and women's teams are coming off second place finishes at Navy. The George Wahington Invitational will mark the third competition of the season for both teams.
Women's Team Takes Second at Navy Invitational
Freshman Elizabeth Ramage (Victoria, B.C.) took fifth place in the women's 5,000 meters to lead the women's team to a second place finish at the Navy Invitational last Saturday.
Ramage's time of 19:17.79 was a season best and made her the top Maryland finisher. The Terps also had finishers in places nine through 12. Junior Meghan White (Cockeysville, Md.) took ninth with a time of 19:31.15. She was followed by senior Kerri Bowers (Salisbury, Md.) who had a time of 19:38.86, junior Kelly Crowley (Levittown, Pa.) in 19:39.61, and junior Keri Seher (Farmingville, N.Y.) in 19:40.07.
Navy won the meet with a score of 26 points. Following Navy were Maryland (47), Georgetown (72), St. Joseph's (115), and Mount St. Mary's (118).
Crowley, Mack and Seher Lead Women's Team
This year's women's team consists of both experienced veterans and talented newcomers. From last year's top seven runners, juniors Kelly Crowley, Rebecca Mack (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) and Keri Seher all return. Crowley placed 41st at last season's ACC meet and Seher placed 46th.
"Kelly, Rebecca and Keri are running pretty strong right now," said Rincon. "We have had a nice addition with a couple of transfers such as Kerri Bowers (who transferred from Salisbury) and Meghan White (who transferred from North Carolina). We are excited about the freshman class on the women's team."
Sullivan and Higgins Lead Men's Team
The men's team this season consists of primarily freshmen, but senior Brian Higgins (Columbia, Md.) and sophomore Shawn Sullivan (Timonium, Md.) return to provide both experience and leadership. Last season, Higgins placed 61st at the ACC Championships.
"Besides Brian and Shawn, everybody else is a freshman so we have a very young men's team," said Rincon. "Zack Webb (Lansdale, Pa.) and Greg Vincent (Timonium, Md.) are handling the transition to college pretty well. I expect to see big things from them."
The Key Meets This Season
Besides this weekend's meet against Navy, Rincon sees a number of other meets this season as being crucial to Maryland's success.
"The meet at George Washington (Sept. 25) will be a fairly good regional invitational," Rincon said. "The Paul Short Invitational (Oct. 9) is going to be a pretty important meet for us because it's going to give us a taste of what a big-time cross country meet is going to be like. There are 40 other teams at that meet."
The ACC in 1999
The biggest meet of the season for both teams this season will be the ACC Championships, which take place in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Oct. 30. Rincon has no illusions about which team will be the favorite.
"NC State (which swept both the men's and women's titles in 1998) has everyone back on the women's side and should be pretty good on the men's side. They have got to be the favorites again this season."