UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Senior Christine Bendzinski turned in a seventh-place finish to lead the Bucknell women’s cross country team at the Spiked Shoe Invitational on Friday morning. The event was hosted by Penn State at the Blue-White Golf Course.

Bendzinski finished the 6k race in 21:34, beating eighth-place Alison Willingmyre (Penn State) by less than a second. The Bucknell senior was coming off a title in the Bison Open, which led to her receiving Patriot League Female Runner of the Week recognition.

Juniors Jenna Farmer and Colleen Buckley joined Bendzinski in the top 20. Farmer was 17th with a time of 21:56, while Bucknell took 20th with a time of 22:05.

Rounding out Bucknell’s scored runners were freshman Payton Capes in 34th and sophomore Lauren Gronbeck in 40th.

“Our women looked a bit tired from the tough week of training, but overall it wasn’t a bad performance,” Bucknell head coach Kevin Donner said. “We need to close the gap between our 3-4 runners.”

Penn State’s Jillian Hunsberger won the race in 21:07. Syracuse’s Paige Stover was the runner-up, crossing the line three seconds later.

The race featured 85 runners from seven teams. Participating teams included Penn State, Georgetown, Syracuse, Pitt, West Virginia, and Edinboro. Penn State (No. 11) and Georgetown (No. 26) currently appear in the national rankings, while Syracuse and West Virginia are receiving votes.

“We got a taste of some great competition today with some national-caliber teams, and many of our women responded well,” Donner said.

The Bison will get a break from competition with no events this coming weekend. They will run at the Panorama Farms Invitational in Earlysville, Virginia, on Saturday, Sept. 23.