Rutgers takes home second place at Lehigh Invitational


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Photo by Jeffrey Gomez |

The Rutgers women’s cross country team began its 2017 season with an impressive showing at the seventh annual Lehigh Invitational at the Lehigh Goodman Campus Cross Country Course in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

This year’s invitational marked the first appearance for the Scarlet Knights at Lehigh. Rutgers placed second overall with a team score of 53, trailing only West Virginia who took first place with 21 points. Last year’s winner, Delaware, placed fourth with a team score of 87.

The Knights had 11 athletes participate in the women’s 6-kilometer (3.7 miles) race.

Leading the pack was freshman Olympia Martin, who took home the top spot for Rutgers, placing ninth overall with a time of 22:16.48. Martin averaged a stout 5:58.3 per mile during the race, only 21 seconds slower than the first-place winner from West Virginia (5:37.4).

Outside of Martin, two other Knights earned new personal records while also placing in the top-15. Sophomores Nadia Saponara and Emma Bergman placed 10th and 11th with times of 22:16.68 and 22:23.61, respectively.

Freshman Kiera Nealon also made her debut for Rutgers with a time of 22:44.66, good for 16th overall. Following Nealon was junior Genevieve Cickavage who placed 19th with a time of 22:57.01.  And rounding out the top-20 was another freshman, Kaitlyn Bragen. She placed 20th with a time of 23:01.71.

Sophomores Stephanie Mauer and Lou Mialhe finished with times of 23:29.80 and 23:37.43, good for 34th and 37th overall.

Senior Alexandra Juzwiak placed 40th with a time of 23:47.29. 

In their debuts for Rutgers, freshmen Kelsey Farbanish and Sara Gutter finished in 24:54.20 and 25:30.84, earning them 63rd and 72nd overall, respectively.

All told, Rutgers athletes placed within the top-75 at Lehigh, with nine of their placements coming in the top-40, in a crowded race of nearly 100 athletes.

The Knights will visit Lehigh again at the end of the month for the Paul Short Invitational on Sept. 29 and once more in early November.

Next time out, Rutgers heads to Boston, Massachusetts to participate in the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown at Boston College on Friday, Sept. 22.


For updates on the Rutgers women's cross country team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.


Kevin Stapleton

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