MANCHESTER, Conn. (September 7, 2019) -- The Franklin Pierce University women's cross country team competed at Wickham Park on Saturday in the Trinity College Bantam Invitational. Junior Marissa Farago (Salisbury, Mass.) took the lead for the Ravens, with a 5k time of 21:01.5 allowing her to finish 14th out of the 87-female running field. As a team, the Ravens would place fifth, out of eight squads.
Closely after Farago, senior Julia Cormier (Northwood, N.H.) finished 28th, with a time of 22:14, which landed her only three places behind the top 25, but still squarely in the top half of the field.
Senior Rebecca Zylak (Goffstown, N.H.) and sophomore Alana Thompson (Westampton, N.J.) finished within seconds of each other a few spots farther back. Zylak took 32nd with a time of 22:40, while Thompson finished right after, achieving 33rd and a time of 22:47.
The top 50 finishers also contained freshman Nadia Cathcart (Hyde Park, N.Y.), who took 40th and finished at 23:14 to round out Franklin Pierce's scoring five. There was a close finish between junior Lauren Stankiewicz (Naugatuck, Conn.) and freshman Victoria Van Houten (Wantage, N.J.), as Stankiewicz finished 49th at 23:51, followed closely by Van Houten at 23:55, with the latter rounding out the top 50.
"It's been a while since they've raced, so you could certainly see some cobwebs on their legs during the middle portion of the race," said head coach Zach Emerson, who felt the meet was a strong season-opening performance for the team. "But it was a great way to start the season; Farago, Cormier and Zylak were phenomenal leaders on and off the course. I am impressed by how strong they are mentally. We know that with their leadership we will continue to get better each week."
The rest of Franklin Pierce's racers consisted of junior Marisa Carbone (Scarborough, Maine), who took 58th with a time of 24:52, freshman Alexis Collins (Monroe, N.H.), who took 69th with a time of 26:45, and sophomore Amanda Pale (Plainville, Conn.), who finished 70th with a time of 26:49.
Out of eight teams, the Ravens finished fifth, with a combined score of 123 points and an average time of 22:23 for the 5k course, narrowly finishing behind fourth-place American International, which finished with a score of 107 points and an average time of 22:18. The Ravens were also well ahead of sixth-place St. Joseph (Conn.), which scored 209 points and had an average finish time of 27:08. Winning the meet was Coast Guard with 32 points, followed by host Trinity with 55 points and Smith with 64 points. In seventh was Johnson & Wales with 215 points, and Western Connecticut State rounded out the field with 225 points in eighth place.
The Ravens will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 14, when they travel to Biddeford, Maine, for the UNE Invitational.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (https://www.fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce cross country apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (https://www.shopfpuravens.com).