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Women's Cross Country Wins Great American XC Festival

Sept. 30, 2011

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CARY, N.C. - The Loyola University Maryland women's cross country team notched its first victory of the season, placing first at the Great American XC Festival in Cary, N.C., on Friday afternoon. The men also had their best finish of the season, taking third overall.

"It was a great day on a great course," said head coach Rick Woods. "The men ran very well to take the third-place trophy, and the women were very impressive while winning the meet. We had really great results on both sides today."

The Greyhounds finished with a near perfect score, totaling 16 points to go on to the victory. N.C. State was the next closest team with 58 points in second place.

Junior Jackie D'Antonio led the Greyhounds for the second-straight meet, crossing the line as the first point-scorer of the race with a time of 18:05. An unattached competitor finished first overall.

Loyola runners claimed the first four scoring positions, as senior Stephanie Gibney took second (18:17), sophomore Gabrielle Cocco was third (18:20) and senior Emily Doucette finished fourth (18:21). Junior Emily Rooney rounded out the scoring spots for the Greyhounds in sixth with a time of 18:32.

Junior Kiera Harrison and freshman Anna Bosse also finished in the top 10, with Harrison finishing seventh (18:40) and Bosse tenth (19:00). The women averaged an impressive time of 18:20.

On the men's side, senior captain Matt Hasett ran a personal-best time of 25:54 to grab ninth place, helping the Greyhounds to the third-place trophy. It was his first top-10 finish of the season and third-straight top-20 performance. Duke placed first at the meet while Bull City Track Club took second.

Hassett was followed by junior DJ Puleo, who finished 14th in a time of 26:22. Senior Ian McArtney was the next Greyhound to finish in 26:41, with junior Tyler Ems (27:31) and freshman Brian Grimes (30:21) wrapping-up the scoring. It was the first time Grimes has scored in a race in his young collegiate career.

"We're really pleased with this," said Woods. "We feel we're in a good position heading into Penn State and then getting ready for the MAAC Championships and the NCAA Regionals in the coming month."

The Greyhounds next take the course when they travel to the Penn State Invitational on October 14.