For Terps women’s cross country, 2014 was a year to learn from the Big Ten.
This year, the team will apply those lessons and attempt to – ahem – set the pace in the conference.
“Eight of the 14 schools are ranked in the NCAA so it’s really competitive and it’s going to take a high level of training to get us where we need to be so we’re really excited about the opportunity,” head coach Andrew Valmon said. “We really need to focus on bringing our track speed over to cross country. In the Big Ten, you need to be fast and also hold it for 6K.”
Maryland heads to Annapolis this weekend for the Navy Salty Dog Invitational to compete against American, Bowie State, George Washington, Loyola, McDaniel and Navy.
“The Big Ten has its own kind of personality in cross country,” Junior Sydney Almeida. “The girls are amazing athletes. In the Big Ten, they like to start the races by going out and getting a good position right away and that’s something we’ve had to adjust to. After last year I think now we are ready.”
On this year’s expectations, senior Emily VandeWater said, “Our experience last year raised our expectations. We learned a lot during competition. Our main focus will be continuing to grow on those experiences. We’re ready to take what we have learned and compete.”
The team went 3-3 last week the Mount Saint Mary’s Duals.
From a team release:
While some of the top returning runners trained through this meet, the team still emerged in the middle of the pack, beating three programs in the team scoring system.
Alexa Squirini led the way for the Terps with Katie Nappi right on her heels. Squirini finished the 5k course as the 17th finisher while Nappi crossed the line in 18th place. Karah O’Halloran and Gaby Go were also a tight pack as the team’s next two scorers. O’Halloran finished in 29th and Go finished 31st.