QUEENS, N.Y. -
Building fitness and defending its team title from the previous year will be the priorities come Saturday, Sept. 14 when the St. John’s women’s cross country team travels to Brookville, N.Y., to take part in the LIU Post Invitational.
The women’s 5K race is scheduled to go off at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed by a men’s 8K race. Twenty-five teams are expected to compete and awards will be given out to the top-10 individual finishers and the top-3 teams in each race. The Red Storm scored 72 points to claim the team title at the 2012 installment of the LIU Post Invitational, placing its top-five finishers in the top-35 overall to best the 20-team field.
“We are looking forward to competing at the LIU Post Invite this weekend,” said St. John's coach Jim Hurt. “Our team put in a great week of practice and our runners are looking forward to demonstrating their true abilities at the Post Invite.”
The Red Storm are coming off an eighth-place finish out of 13 teams at its own season-opening SJU-Hofstra Fall XC Festival held last weekend on St. John’s University’s Oakdale, N.Y. campus.
Leading the way for St. John’s in Oakdale was graduate student and captain Michelle Duffy, who placed 12th overall and sixth among Division I finishers in 16:01.64 for the 4K race. Sophomore Kerri Butler was not far behind Duffy, as she continued to build upon her stellar freshman campaign at St. John’s to finish 16th overall and eighth among DI competitors in 16:09.64.
Three more sophomores rounded out the Red Storm scoring five in Oakdale with Ashlin Conroy
and twin sisters Michelle Van Pelt
and Stephanie Van Pelt
finishing 32nd, 41st and 45th, respectively. St. John’s posted a spread of 1:12.21 between its top-5 runners in the season-opener.
Red Storm alumnae Alexis Bean led the way for St. John’s in its winning effort at last year’s LIU Post Invitational, crossing the finish line in fourth after covering the 5K course in 19:33.57. Stephanie Van Pelt was tenth overall in just her second career race thanks to a personal best time of 19:33.57, while Duffy placed 12th and Conroy 35th to clinch the team title for St. John’s.
Saturday’s host, the Pioneers, placed second in the collegiate women’s 4K race at the SJU-Hofstra Fall XC Festival. Sophomore Elizabeth Stirling led LIU with a team-best 11th-place finish last week, one spot ahead of Duffy.