A Pair of Top 12 Finishes Lead St. Mary's Women's Cross Country to Third at Hood Open

Megan Gerdes
Megan Gerdes

Frederick, Md. – Senior captain Megan Gerdes (Gaithersburg, Md./Poolesville) earned a Top 10 finish Saturday morning in leading the St. Mary's College of Maryland women's cross country team to their second third-place finish of the season at the Hood College Open. The 6K race was held at the Utica District Park.

The field of competitors featured five NCAA Division III programs, two NCAA Division II schools, and three teams from the National Junior College Athletic Association. St. Mary's finished second in the Division III field and bested fellow Capital Athletic Conference opponent, Frostburg State University by five spots as the Bobcats took eighth overall.

The Seahawks placed three individuals in the Top 30, including Gerdes and first-year Halcyon Ruskin (Kensington, Md./Albert Einstein) in the Top 12. Gerdes ran the 6K course in 24:24.7 for her first career Top 10 finish. Today's effort also marked the first time Gerdes has been St. Mary's first runner across the finish line.

Ruskin came in just under 20 seconds behind Gerdes for an 11th-place finish with a time of 24:44.0. Sophomore Lydia Marzot (Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) picked up a 21st-place finish (20 in the scoring order) in 25:46.5. Junior captain Grace Humphries (Lutherville, Md./Mercy) followed Marzot across the finish line with a time of 26:29.5 for a 31st-place finish (30 in scoring order).

Senior captain Lilly Gaehde (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) contributed to the team scoring for the second consecutive meet. Gaehde rounded out the scoring with a 34th-place finish in 27:05.8.

Division II California University of Pennsylvania won the team title as the Vulcans swept the first five spots. First-year Madison Thrasher claimed the individual title by running the course in 23:14.9. Gerdes was only the third Division III runner to cross the finish line.

Today marked the end of the regular season for the Seahawks. St. Mary's will now spend the next two weeks preparing for the 2015 CAC Women's Cross Country Championships which the Seahawks will host on Saturday, October 31 at 10:30 a.m. at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in St. Leonard, Maryland.

Team Standings: 1. California (Pa.), 15; 2. Hood, 98; 3. St. Mary's (Md.), 103; 4. Washington and Jefferson, 135; 5. Fairmont State, 137; 6. Howard CC, 161; 7. Northern Virginia CC, 166; 8. Frostburg State, 186; 9. CCBC Essex, 195; 10. Gallaudet, 256.

Seahawk Finishers (82 Finishers): 9. Megan Gerdes; 11. Halcyon Ruskin; 21. Lydia Marzot; 31. Grace Humphries; 34. Lilly Gaehde; 41. Marisa McCormick, 27:53.3; 48. Alyssa Leventer, 28:27.2; 49. Kori Taber, 28:31.7; 55. Tara Vizzi, 29:11.1.

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