Mids Finish Third at William & Mary Invitational
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The Navy women's cross country team tested themselves on Friday at the 59th Annual William & Mary Invitational. Racing against an eight-team field, the Mids challenged for the team title, but were edged out by Charlotte and William & Mary by a grand total of four points for the right to claim the crown. Ali Valenti (Lansdale, Pa.) led Navy's effort on the 5K Eastern State Cross Country Course as the junior came in seventh of 88 individual runners.
"This was a good test and challenge for our team to see were our depth is," remarked head coach Karen Boyle. "We were without three of our top-eight runners so we saw some people step up and take on important roles for us and gain new experiences.
"We had some exceptional pack running throughout the race so that was really nice to see. I was also impressed with how we were able to drive and push through the hills so well. That will help us moving forward at races like the Paul Short and Army Star Meet."
Valenti highlighted Navy's individual performers as she clocked in with a time of 18:29.633, just 0.3 seconds shy of sixth place Halley Brown of George Washington.
The Mids' pack running paid dividends in teens as Navy secured positions 14, 15, 16 and 18. Rachel Fairbanks (Jr., Jamesville, N.Y.) took 14th at 19:02.612 ahead of Emily Craig (Fr., Reistertown, Md.) and Lilly Myers (Fr., Erie, Pa) at 19:06.308 and 19:09.009, respectively. Allison Parks (Sr., Lisbon, Ohio) gave Navy its fifth runner amongst the top-18 as she registered a result of 19:13.282.
In the team standings, Charlotte finished in first with 61 points, while William & Mary ranked second with 63, two ahead of Navy's 65. George Washington (75) and Hampton (90) took fourth and fifth place, respectively ahead of Christopher Newport (176), Norfolk State (NTS) and Regent (NTS).
The Mids will take a week off from competition before turning their attention to the Paul Short Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 29 in Bethlehem, Pa.