Salisbury, MD – The Mary Baldwin cross country team raced Saturday in the 29th Annual Don Cathcart Invitational, hosted by Salisbury University. The 11-team field was led by East Stroudsburg, Salisbury, and Bridgewater. MBU placed 8th overall.
Colette Levens and Stephanie Barbaro led the way for the Squirrels. They raced side by side over the entire course until the finish, with Levens besting Barbaro by just 3 seconds. They finished 55th and 56th, respectively, with times of 26:34 and 26:37, placing them at 8th and 9th on the All-time 6k list for Mary Baldwin.
Lindsay Sopko placed 60th in the time of 26:55, just six seconds off her 6k personal record set last year at the NCAA Regional meet. Both Levens and Sopko are just returning to racing after a few weeks of managing some nagging overuse injuries.
Rounding out MBU’s top 7 finishers were Elise Deng (28:09), Jacquelin Rosas (28:45), Nykia Free (29:46) and Campbell Scollo (30:37). Deng, Rosas and Free, as well as Levens, were racing their first ever 6k.
The outcome was a pleasant surprise for Coach Ely. “With so many unknowns going into today’s race, I was really happy with how everyone competed. We were down 3 of our top 5 last week, so it was nice to have an almost-full squad racing today. But with a few runners racing after coming back from an injury, you’re just never sure how it’s going to play out.”
Nevertheless, it ended well for MBU. “A couple of the returners ran over 2 minutes faster than any 6k they raced last year. And we have such a young team—4 of our top 7 had never raced 6k before. This was a good first showing for them. It will be great to see how they finish out the season.”
MBU competes in their last regular season race on October 14th at Gettysburg College.