Oct. 19, 2002
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - This Saturday, the Terps hosted their only home meet of the year, the Maryland Invitational, held at the University Golf Course. After the women's and men's teams finished first and second last season, expectations were high for this year. Fortunately, Maryland did not disappoint, delivering two second place finishes out of seven teams in the meet.
Maryland teams finished only behind American, who swept first place in both races, as well as the individual titles. The Terp women were only four points behind, this accomplished without the aid of several of their top runners, who were being rested for next weekend's ACC Championships.
"I knew it would be challenging without them," said head coach Trent Sanderson, "but we had to keep our focus on Atlanta."
Freshmen Katie Purcell (Coraopolis, Pa.) and Cori Koch (Lutherville, Md.) completed their fourth races at the front of the Maryland pack. Purcell broke 19 minutes in the 5,000 meter race, with a 18:23 and fourth overall. Koch finished right behind her in fifth place with a 18:38. Also finishing in the top 15 were Kim Smith (Glastonbury, Conn.) in ninth, Amie Shomette (Monrovia, Md.) in 11th and Andrea Stehman (Indianapolis, Ind.) in 14th.
On the men's side, junior Mike Prada (Fulton, Md.) paced the Terps with a fourth place finish in the 8,000 meter race. His time of 25:45 was more than two minutes faster than his time at last year's Maryland Invitational. Sophomores Adam Ambrus (Shamong, N.J.) and Matt Adami (Mt. Airy, Md.) came in eighth and 11th place, respectively. Also showing improvement, both men shaved nearly two minutes off their times from last year's meet.
Next weekend the teams travel to Atlanta, Ga., for the ACC Championships, where they will face their toughest regional opponents. The men's team is looking to break a four-year ninth place finish streak, and the women's team aims to better its eighth place finish from 2001. However, with the improvement the teams have shown this year, these goals seem only a step away.