Women's XC dominates at home

By Chris McCree

Sports Editor

In rainy and humid conditions, the women’s cross country team began their season on a high note during the Bison Open at the West Fields. The Bison amassed 17 top-20 finishes in a field consisting of runners from Bloomsburg, Susquehanna and Juniata. Alysha Hooper ’12 collected a second-place finish with a time of 17:37.

“The team got off to a great start this weekend,” said Caroline Tolli ’13. “We are a pretty healthy team right now so we had a lot of girls racing and we definitely saw our depth this weekend.”

Although the best time of the day came from Bloomsburg’s Victoria Davis, the Orange and Blue clearly dominated the race. The Bison placed runners in spots two through eight and had six runners finish under 18 minutes. The senior runners led the charge for the Orange and Blue with Emily Liggett ’12 claiming third place, just behind Hooper, with a time of 17:37 and Stephanie Fulmer ’12 finishing 10 seconds behind her in fourth.

“I think this race revealed one of the strengths of this year’s team, and that’s depth. It was a great feeling to have orange Bucknell jerseys all around me. I had teammates who I could pull and teammates who could pull me,” said Hooper.

In her first race as a Bison, Madeline Dulac ’15 finished first among the first-year runners with an 11th place finish and a time of 18:20. The Orange and Blue will have to look to these new faces this season to give the team the edge it needs. Nonetheless, having a strong group of returning runners will certainly benefit the team all season.

“My expectations for the team are to continue improving and to win the Patriot League Championships at the end of October,” said Fulmer. “We have such a great amount of depth this year, and with each meet the finishers could be any type of order. I feel that this is an example of a great team and one that will have the ability to last through the long cross country season.”

Next up for the Orange and Blue is a dual meet against Duquesne and University of Pittsburgh in two weeks. It will prove to be a good test for the Bison before the Paul Short Invitational at the end of the month where they will race fellow Patriot League teams for the first time.

“I’m really looking forward to how this race translates over to each of the bigger races, where it’s easier to get lost in the crowd,” said Hooper. “Even more so, I’m excited to see how this team will rise to the challenges that we’ll face throughout the entire season.”

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