STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Any residual effect from a long offseason were quickly put to rest for the Quinnipiac women's cross country team as they won the Stony Brook Invitational on Saturday. An incredible total of seven Bobcats placed in the Top-15 overall out of 68 total runners in the 4k event. The Bobcats compiled a total of 37 points with an average time of 15:41.97 to win the event over host Stony Brook, who finished in second with 45 points.
"The women had a very good opener with our underclassmen really taking charge," said Quinnipiac women's cross country head coach Carolyn Martin. "We are looking forward to how the season will unfold and if we can build off this strong start."
2013 Stony Brook Invitational Team Results
One of those very impressive underclassmen Coach Martin was referring to certainly was freshman Niamh Ashe (East Islip, N.Y.). In just her first career event as a Bobcat, Ashe navigated her way to the front of the field and sprinted home to a third place finish, tops on the team. Ashe became the first Quinnipiac freshman since Becca White back in 2009 to finish in the Top-5 overall at an event. She crossed the finish line in 14:49.18 as she was bested by just two senior Stony Brook competitors. Even more impressive was Ashe kept her ground amongst a group of three Stony Brook seniors to finish in third, nearly 30 seconds ahead of the fifth place finisher.
Following Ashe in sixth place overall was sophomore sensation Tracy Campbell (Wall Township, N.J.). Campbell's third career Top-10 finish tied her career-best with the sixth place finish on Saturday as Campbell finished the Invitational with a time of 15:34.66. Following Campbell closely in seventh place was senior Brianna Faust (Macungie, Pa.). The pairing finished back-to-back in the overall standings as Faust came in at 15:51.89. A fixture in the women's cross country program for four years running came through with her fifth career Top-10 finish.
One of the most pleasant surprises on Saturday for the Bobcats was the showing of sophomore Rebecca Morse (West Newbury, Mass.). The second year runner finished in a career-best 10th place for her first career Top-10 finish. She improved upon her time from the 2012 Stony Brook Invitational by more than 20 seconds with a 16:06.76 on Saturday. Morse barely outkicked Quinnipiac senior Jill Humphreys (Burlington, Mass.). The 11th place finish for Humphreys was less than a second behind Morse as she clocked in at 16:07.34. After not competing in any cross country events last season, Humphreys shined in her return as the 11th place result is the second-best result of her career.
Rounding out the seven girls who placed on Saturday were two more underclassmen, sophomore Ashley Carle (Jackson, N.J.) and freshman Cameron Chaplen (Thomaston, Conn.). Carle finished as the sixth-fastest Bobcat, in 14th place overall, with a time of 16:19.48. The result is already the second-best of her young career, narrowly missing her individual career high of ninth in the 2012 Stony Brook Invitational. Rounding out the Bobcat contingent was Chaplen who crossed the line in an impressive 16:23.02. Chaplen's time was good enough for 15th overall and gave the Bobcats their amazing achievement of seven runners into the Top-15.
Quinnipiac returns to action on Saturday at the Bryant University Invitational starting at 10:30 a.m. from Smithfield, R.I.
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