EARLYSVILLE, Va. – Christine Bendzinski finished 16th out of 126 runners to lead the Bucknell women’s cross country team to a seventh-place showing in a competitive field of 13 teams at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational on Friday.
The Bison posted a score of 187, finishing ahead of ACC program Clemson (192), the 13th ranked team in the Southeast region, Charlotte (207), Appalachian State (219), American (340), Loyola (355) and Hofstra (388).
No. 19 BYU won the team title with 47, followed by SMU (89), No. 16 Syracuse (98), No. 14 Virginia (127) and William & Mary (155), who ranks third in the Southeast region.
Bendzinski crossed the line in 17:40 in the 5k course. Regan Rome of William & Mary won the race in 17:01, finishing three seconds ahead of second-place finisher Annie Bothma of Coastal Carolina. Bendzinski was the top Patriot League runner by nine spots in the individual standings.
Sarah Chandler finished 25th with a time of 17:55, while Jenna Farmer took 44th to give the Bison three runners in the top 50. Lauren Gronbeck (54th), Elizabeth Sheprow (61st), Grace Loh (68th) and Christine O’Kane (70th) rounded out the top five finishes for the defending Patriot League champs.
Notably absent from the Bucknell lineup on Friday was Kate Scott. The senior was the top finisher in each of the two races she ran in so far this season.
"Our women were very good today," said head coach Kevin Donner. "I felt they handled the hills and the heat very well, but more importantly, they handled the pressure of the competition. We did not run Kate due to an injury, but others such as Jenna and freshman Lauren Gronbeck stepped up at the important three and four spots. The course is great preparation for leagues at Lafayette and the competition was great preparation for regionals."
Bucknell returns to action Oct. 1 to compete at the Paul Short Run, hosted by Lehigh.