ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Loyola University Maryland's men's and women's cross country teams took to the course at the U.S. Naval Academy Golf Course on a hot and muggy Saturday morning, opening their seasons near the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
The Greyhounds' men's team placed fourth in a five-team field at the Navy Invitational while the women's team finished fifth in a very strong six-team field at the Salty Dog Invitational. Navy won the men's championship while Maryland edged the Navy women to capture the Salty Dog Invitational title.
"It was really a hot, humid day, and that impacted our athletes significantly," said Amy Horst, Loyola's head coach. "But, this was a good experience for our teams and we ran some very competitive races. Now, we know where our strengths and weaknesses are, and we can concentrate on getting better. We're already looking forward to our next race in two weeks."
Senior captain Sarah Askine was the top runner for the women's team as she placed 23rd with a time of 24:32.01. Competing in her first collegiate race, freshman Megan Crilly ran the course in a time of 24:33.45 to place two spots behind. Sophomore Christina Daniels added a 30th place finish (24:48.95) while sophomore Mary Sutton ran 32nd with a time of 24:58.39.
Another freshman, Audrey O'Neill, competed in her first collegiate race and finished with a time of 25:40.60, good for 42nd place. Sophomore Courtney Wallace (25:59.12) and freshman Grace Jansson (26:20.58) also ran for the Greyhounds.
Junior Alex Saffadi was the top performer for the Loyola men's team. In the 8-kilometer men's race, he finished 29th with a time of 27:32.02. Sophomore Alexander Buchholz was Loyola's second-best runner, taking 36th place (28:53.75). Sophomore Tyler Schoch (27:37.93), senior Tom Porth (29:40.73) and freshman Sam Williams (29:53.53) also finished among the top 40 runners.
Loyola returns to action on Sept. 23 at the University of Virginia's Panorama Farms Invitational.