Cross Country Teams Host Maryland Invitational Saturday

Maryland Athletics
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Sept. 27, 1999

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The University of Maryland men's and women's cross country teams, coming off fifth- and third-place finishes at last weekend's George Washington Invitational, will host the University of Maryland Invitational this Saturday. Morgan State's men's and women's teams will be competing and so will George Mason's women's team.

"We want to run well this weekend," Coach Dan Rincon said. "Anytime you run at home, you want to put on a show for the home crowd." The Terps, coming off strong performances this weekend, are prepared to give the home crowd a taste of how hard they have worked this season. "Everyone has to pitch in to make it a successful weekend," Coach Rincon said.

This weekend will give the women's team a chance to showcase the depths of their talent. "This meet will provide us with reasonable competition, especially considering that our top five or six women are not competing due to the upcoming Paul Short Invitational the following weekend," said Coach Rincon. The meet, to be held on the university's golf course, will begin at 9 a.m. with the men's 8K. The women's 5K will follow at 10 a.m. Both the men's and women's teams consist primarily of underclassmen this year.

Women's Team Takes Third at GWU Invitational
Freshman Elizabeth Ramage (18:42.90), sophomore Meghan White (18:43.64) and junior Kelly Crowley (18:44.63) led the Terps to a third-place finish at the George Washington Invitational Sunday. The trio finished 14th, 15th and 16th, respectively. The Terps finished with a score of 90 points to edge out Syracuse, 94 points, for third place. Their 90 points were not enough to overtake first place Georgetown, 25 points, or second place James Madison, 36 points.

The women's team has consistently turned in strong performances this season. Coach Rincon attributes this to a combination of factors consisting of the depth of the team and its dedication. "Many of them came back from this summer in the best shape they have been in in quite some time," he said. "There are the new runners -- the freshmen and transfers -- and then the people returning are veterans of the previous two seasons. That has played a role in knowing what to expect and contributes to our list of accomplishments."

Sullivan's 5th-Place Finish Lead's Terp Men's Team
University of Maryland's men's team placed fifth out of 10 teams at the George Washington Invitational on Sunday. Sophomore Shawn Sullivan's impressive fifth-place finish in the 8000 with a time of 26:34.45 led the Terps. "This was a really good race for him," Coach Rincon said. "Especially considering that his time was one minute faster than last year on that course. This is a testament to how hard he worked over the summer." Also faring well for the men was freshman Zack Webb, who finished eighth with a time of 26:52.33. Their combined fifth- and eighth-place showings in a field of 90 competitors led the men to a fifth-place finish, with a score of 99 points. The Terps just missed a fourth-place finish as Syracuse scored 95 points.

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 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."