Oct. 12, 2013
QUEENS, N.Y. – Returning to competition after a three-week hiatus, the St. John’s women’s cross country team placed eighth out of 12 teams at the 85th edition of the Metropolitan Cross Country Championships at iconic Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, N.Y. on Friday, Oct. 11.
Leading the way for the Red Storm in its first championship race of the season was captain Michelle Duffy, who after missing last year’s meet due to injury placed 31st in 19:57.04 for the 5K course.
Behind Duffy, St. John’s ran in a tight pack, with sophomores Kerri Butler, Veronica Thompson, Stephanie Van Pelt and Michelle Van Pelt all finishing in close succession. Butler placed 48th in 20:47.95, Thompson crossed the finish line in 49th in 20:58.09, and Stephanie and Michelle Van Pelt finished in 50th and 53rd place, respectively. Stephanie Van Pelt posted a time of 21:01.81, while sister Michelle broke the tape in 21:11.81. The Red Storm posted a team score of 231.
“Michelle Duffy led our pack into great position in the opening mile but we had difficulty keeping our positions in the hills,” said St. John’s head coach Jim Hurt. “We did have a close pack of four sophomores behind Duffy but they needed to hang with her deeper into the race. We were very close to running a great race but will have to wait for the Brown Invite next week to get it to happen.”
Also competing for the Red Storm were sophomores Tiffany Evanego
, 68th in 22:25.72, and Jasmine Gomez
, who finished in a time of 23:40.96.
Friday’s meet, hosted by Fordham University, saw Columbia capture the women’s team title with a score of 25 points. Last year, St. John’s placed seventh at the Metropolitan Championships.
The Red Storm returns to action next Friday, Oct. 18 at the Brown Invitational in Providence, R.I.