Maryland Cross Country Faces Top Teams, Fares Well

Sept. 28, 2002

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Terps were confronted with a tremendous challenge on Saturday at Lehigh University's Paul Short Invitational, when they took on several nationally ranked cross country teams. They did this without the aid of some of their top runners, whom head coach Trent Sanderson chose to rest this weekend.

Despite the stiff competition, the teams turned in solid performances at this year's invitational. The men's team finished 17th out of 24 Division I and II schools. Their finish marks an improvement from last year, when they placed 19th out of 39 teams. However, the men's meet belonged to the powerhouses. William & Mary, ranked third in the Southeast, won the meet, followed by Columbia, who holds the number 10 spot in the Northeast. Rounding out the top three in the team competition was Princeton, a team ranked third in the Mid-Atlantic.

The fastest finisher for the Maryland men was sophomore Mike Fleg (Clarksville, Md.), who took 43rd place with a 25:33.14. This time was more than one minute faster than his time at last year's Invite. Coming in next for the Terps was sophomore Florent Groberg (Potomac, Md.), who finished in 108th place, and freshman Natty Zola (Boulder, Col.), who took 116th out of 233 runners. First place was taken by Columbia's Steve Sundell, with a 24:28.20.

The women's team also fared well against the tough competition. They finished 10th out of 23 Division I and II schools, which is dramatically higher than in 2001, when they took 23rd out of 39 teams. Winning the women's team competition was Penn State, a team ranked 20th nationally. In second was West Virginia, and Princeton finished third.

Capturing first place overall was West Virginia's Megan Metcalfe, who posted a 20:51.94. The top finisher for the Terps was freshman Allison Carney (Las Vegas, Nev.), who took 27th place with a 22:18.94. Also finishing in the top 100 were freshmen Courtney Fiorovanti (Toms River, N.J), and Amie Shomette (Monrovia, Md.), who finished in 68th and 75th, respectively.

With the Paul Short Invite concluded, Maryland is now looking forward to taking on its biggest challenge yet at the Indiana Invitational on Oct. 5. There, they hope to finish well against several regional rivals. The teams will see the return of several talented runners who sat out this weekend's race to rest and prepare. Along with the extra practice the rest of the team gained at the Paul Short, Maryland has visions of success next weekend in Indiana.

Click here for complete results of the 2002 Paul Short Invitational