Cross Country Teams Reflect On Season

Nov. 8, 1999

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The University of Maryland's men's and women's cross country teams ended their seasons last Monday with ninth place finishes at the ACC Championships in Chapel Hill. The Terps will spend the next month preparing for the indoor track season, which will begin with the Bucknell Invitational on Dec. 4.

The teams will use the next month to rest junior Kelly Crowley (Levittown, Pa.), who has been bothered by a leg injury over the past three weeks. Also, the Terps will be able to give senior Kerri Bowers (Salisbury, Md.) time to recover from heat exhaustion, which prevented her from finishing at the ACCs.

"Kelly is getting a bone scan on her leg, and we should know the diagnosis today or by Tuesday at the latest," says Coach Dan Rincon. "For Kerri Bowers, we are slowly working to get her back to equilibrium. She is working her way back under the watchful eye of the medical staff."

Coach Rincon decided not to enter the Terps in the NCAA District II so that the teams could recover from these injuries and focus on the upcoming indoor track season. "We decided that due to injuries and the inexperience of our men's team, at this time it is in our best interest to focus on the indoor season and not worry about the NCAA Districts," says Coach Rincon.

Men and Women Struggle at ACC Championships
The men's and women's teams struggled at the ACC Championships last week as both teams finished in ninth place for the second year in a row. The women's team ran without two of its top eight runners, junior Kelly Crowley and senior Kerri Bowers. Freshman Elizabeth Ramage (Victoria, B.C.) led the women's team with a time of 19:38.5 and a 44th place finish. Sophomore Meghan White (Cockeysville, Md.) followed close behind with a time of 19:56.2 and a 49th place finish. The Terps finished with a score of 259 points. The University of North Carolina won the meet with a score of 44 points.
The men were led by freshman Greg Vincent (Timonium, Md.), whose time of 26:51.0 gave him a 39th place finish. Sophomore Shawn Sullivan (Timonium, Md.) finished six seconds later, with a time of 26:57.0, and a 44th place finish. The Terps finished with a score of 249 points. N.C. State continued to dominate the ACCs as it won the meet for a second year with a record-setting team score of 16 points.

Terps Reflect on Success at Maryland and George Mason Invitationals
The men's and women's cross country teams' seasons were highlighted by wins at both the Maryland Invitational and the George Mason Invitational. At the Maryland Invitational on Oct. 2, the men edged out Coppin State with a score of 21 points and the women's score of 25 points was enough to beat George Mason and Coppin State.
Two weeks later the Terps were victorious again at the George Mason Invitational on Oct. 16. The men's and women's team turned in decisive victories in a field consisting of teams from Howard, Mary Washington and George Mason. The men won with a score of 26 points and the women's score of 23 points earned them a first-place finish as well.
Coach Rincon sees the teams' successes coming from the number of individual improvements and the team's ability to run as a pack. He comments, "We did make significant improvements individually and collectively. When you compare us to last year's team, we did run faster on the same courses. We did make improvements and now we can look to the future with optimism."

Cross Country Teams Look Ahead to Next Year with Optimism
This season the men's and women's teams have relied on the underclassmen, who have made up the majority of both teams. The men's team consisted of seven underclassmen and one senior, which enabled younger members of the team to step up and assume leadership roles. The women have relied on a mix of underclassmen and returners, who provided leadership as well as experience. Neither team will lose many runners next year, and Coach Rincon looks to the future with a great deal of optimism.
"Our big goal is to do much better at the ACCs. That will stick with us for the remainder of the year and over the summer. In the [women's] lineup, we will only lose one person to graduation, so we will return almost the same team next year. I think we can be somewhat optimistic about our chance," says Coach Rincon.