PORTLAND, Maine - Number three nationally ranked MIT women's cross country opened the season with a first-place finish at the Southern Maine Invitational Cross Country Meet on Saturday afternoon with 52 points. This pre-regional meet was hosted so New England teams could have the opportunity to see the course prior to the NCAA Division III Regional meet in November.
No. 29 Tufts University finished right behind the Engineers with 54 points andNo. 19 Bates College was third with 86 points. This is the first time that MIT has competed in this meet.
Leading the way for Tech was senior Kaitlin Allen (Bedford, N.H.), who completed the five mile course in second place with a time of 18:11.45, after having led for the majority of the run. Junior Kali Benavides (Miami, Fla.) followed in sixth with her time of 18:25.08 and classmate Elaine McVay (San Ramon, Calif.) was 12th in 18:33.63.
Closing out the top 20 were junior Stephanie Marzen (McLean, Va.), senior Alexandra Taylor (Harbor Springs, Mich.) and freshman Maryann Gong (Livermore, Calif.), who completed the course with times of 18:40.79, 18:41.82 and 18:47.21 to take 12th, 17th and 20th.
MIT will return to the cross country trail next weekend when it travels to Williams College for the Purple Valley Invitational, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 12:00 p.m.