Maryville, TN—The MBU women's cross country team traveled to compete in the Maryville College Invitational for a preview of the USA South Conference championship course. This was the first time in three years that the team raced the conference course in advance of the championship. Eight conference schools were represented at the meet, with the Fighting Squirrels placing 4th overall.
Josephina Reeder led the way for MBU, covering the 6k course in a personal best 27:40 and placing 21st individually. Crossing the line close behind were Stephanie Barbaro (26th), Sonje Green (27th) and Colette Levens (29th). Barbaro continues to be a reliable competitor for the Squirrels and Green had a breakthrough performance in her 4th ever cross country race. Levens ran a strong race, steadily moving up past competitors throughout the race.
Coach Ely was upbeat about how the team performed. "The team ran very well today. They worked together and responded when they needed to. Jo (Reeder) ran an even race and finished strong. I'm happy for her that she ran a personal best here in mid-season. It bodes well for her races going forward. Green was the nice surprise of the day. She raced with our frontrunners from the start and hung on to finish well. It's wonderful as a coach to see an athlete starting to believe in herself the way the coaches do. Overall, the team competed well. I'm really looking forward to having everyone back to race again in four weeks when we're even more fit and strong, but rested."
Next up for the cross country teams is the CNU Invitational next Saturday at Lee Hall Mansion in Newport News, Virginia.