Cross Country Teams Set For Biggest Test of Season

Maryland Athletics
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Oct. 4, 1999

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The University of Maryland's men's and women's cross country teams, who swept the Maryland Invitational last weekend in their lone home meet, will travel to the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa. this Saturday. This weekend's meet will give the Terps a measurement of how they have progressed since the season began.

This weekend's meet will feature a number of top-ranked teams, which will give the Terps serious competition.

"This weekend will be a barometer of how far we've come," Coach Rincon said. "The Paul Short Invitational is one of the top invitationals in the country. There is a large selection of ranked teams," said Rincon. The Terps have been preparing for this meet for the past couple of weeks.

"This is a big reason why we held out our top five [women] last weekend, we want to go into this weekend fresh," said Rincon. The Terps have consistently turned in solid performances this season, and this weekend should be no different. "We want to try to [perform] the same in even tougher competition," Rincon said.

The Paul Short Invitational, held in Bethlehem, Pa., will begin at 9 a.m.

Seven Women Finish in Top 10 at Lone Home Meet
The women's cross country team put on another solid performance as seven runners placed in the top 10 at the Terps' only home meet of the season. The Terps' clinched first place, with a score of 25 points to overcome George Mason University (37) and Coppin State (73).

Freshman Kristin Lubas (Timonium, Md.) led the women with a time of 20:45.67, taking third place. Junior Eve Lerner (Roswell, Ga.) followed with a fourth place finish and a time of 20:53.84, and junior Lisa DeGrechie's (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) time of 21:10.53 rounded out the top five. Four other women placed in the top 10.

The women look to continue turning in strong performances in the next couple weeks, with the Paul Short Invitational this weekend, and the ACC Championships on Oct. 30. "We hope to see if the top seven can continue to run within one minute of each other, which they've done," Rincon said.

Men's Team Takes First Place at Maryland Invitational
The men's cross country team took first place this weekend with a decisive win over Coppin State at the Terps' lone home meet. Sophomore Shawn Sullivan (Timonium, Md.) and freshmen Zack Webb (Lansdale, Pa.) and Greg Vincent (Timonium, Md.) took first, second and third places, respectively, to lead Maryland to a 21-38 victory.

Sullivan and Vincent Step Up to Lead Men's Team
Sophomore Shawn Sullivan and freshman Greg Vincent have proven to be strong performers for the men's cross country team this season, consistently turning in top performances. This past weekend proved to be no different as Sullivan finished first and Vincent came in third.

Sullivan's impressive fifth place finish at the George Washington Invitational on Sept. 26 was a testament of how hard he has worked. "This was a really good race for him, especially considering that his time was one minute faster than last year on that course," said Rincon. Vincent has consistently been a top-finisher for the Terps, as he finished third at the Navy Invitational on Sept. 11 and fourth at Mt. St. Mary's on Sept. 4.

Freshman Zack Webb has also turned in solid performances this season. "Zack Webb and Greg Vincent are handling the transition to college pretty well," Rincon said. " I expect to see big things from them." So far, his expectations have been fulfilled.

The ACC in 1999
The biggest meet of the season for both teams 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."