EARLYSVILLE, Va. – Senior Christine Bendzinski turned in a top-10 finish individually to lead the Bucknell women’s cross country team to a sixth-place showing out of 11 teams at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational on Saturday morning.
“Although some of our athletes had rough days in the heat and on the hills, we had enough of the others run pretty well to give us a decent final placing,” Bucknell head coach Kevin Donner said. “If we can get some consistency from our younger runners, we will be a very good team.”
Bendzinski was Bucknell’s top runner for the third consecutive race, taking ninth in the 98-runner field with a time of 17:47 on the 5k course. Six of the eight runners in front her were from teams either ranked or receiving votes in the most recent national poll.
Charlotte’s Caroline Sang won the race in impressive fashion, finishing in 17:05. That was five seconds better than the second-place runner, Virginia’s Frances Schmiede.
Bucknell totaled 156 points, finishing ahead of Charlotte (174), Hampton (184), Clemson (201), Northeastern (250), and Loyola (312). Virginia, which is receiving votes in the national poll, won the team title with a score of 41, while No. 29 Yale was second with 67. SMU, which is also receiving votes was third with 97, while William & Mary (117) and High Point (139) rounded out the top five.
A pair of Bucknell juniors finished in the top 30. Colleen Buckley was 22nd with a time of 18:14, while Jenna Farmer was 30th in 18:35. Also scoring for the Bison were freshman Ashley Blair (47th) and sophomore Lauren Gronbeck (51st).
“Chrissy looked great, especially the last 1k, and Buckley is looking better,” Donner said. “Farmer did not feel good, but is now becoming very dependable and consistent.”
The Bison will compete at the Dickinson Long/Short Invitational in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, Sept. 30.