EASTON, Pa. – The Bucknell women’s cross country team took advantage of the competition and course on Saturday, finishing second in the Leopard Invitational held at Lafayette, the site of this year’s Patriot League Championship race. The Bison outperformed five of their conference foes in the outing, running a race that strengthened the entire team for the upcoming end-of-season showdown.

"Our top six women did an outstanding job running a conservative pace together through three miles,” said head coach Kevin Donner. “We wanted our top three to hold back and solidify our fourth, fifth and sixth runners and they did just that. The hills on the course made it tough to stick together as a group, but they did a nice job. Our last 1000 was fairly fast and we made up a lot of ground on a very improved American team."

American was the only team to edge out Bucknell at the Metzgar Athletic Complex, finishing with 55 points to the Bison’s 82. Lafayette rounded out the top three with 141. Lehigh (7th – 198 points), Loyola (8th – 200 points), Navy (10th – 230 points) and Colgate (11th – 274 points) also competed, and several other local programs rounded out the field of 14.

Loyola’s Kiera Harrison won the 6K race, finishing in a time of 21:44.87, while freshman Catherine Scott was Bucknell’s top finisher, crossing the line at 22:45.78 to take 13th place. The rest of the Bison scorers finished within a span of 17 seconds, with junior Montana DiPietrantonio leading the way with a 15th place finish and a time of 22:52.52. She was followed by classmates Katie Jessee (17th – 23:01.04), Kylie Pearse (18th – 23:01.80) and Zoe Gaston (19th – 23:02.66), rounding out Bucknell’s 82-point performance.

The Bison will spend the next two weeks preparing for this year’s Patriot League Championships which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Lafayette. The race is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.