Northampton, Mass. – Behind a pair of top ten finishes, the Clark University women's cross country team kicked off the 2016 season with a fifth place finish at the Smith Invitational hosted by Smith College in Northampton, Mass on Saturday.
The Cougars, with 121 points, finished in fifth place behind Coast Guard (43), Smith (89), Franklin Pierce (96) and Springfield (114) and were led by freshman Nicolina Braccio (Nashua, N.H.), who placed second in her first collegiate race with a time of 20:17:60. Smith's Haley Markos edged Braccio to take the victory with a time of 20:14:25.
Joining Braccio in the top ten was junior Kristen Glennie (Standish, Maine), who turned in a seventh place showing.
- Freshman Nicolina Braccio (Nashua, N.H.) placed second with a time of 20:17.
- Junior Kristen Glennie (Standish, Maine) was 7th with a 21:00 effort.
- Freshman Talia Neuhaus (Skokie, Ill.) finished 31st with a 22:19 performance.
- Sophomore Liza French (Middleboro, Mass.) finished 41st (22:37).
- Freshman Shannon Reault (Tyngsboro, Mass.) placed 42nd (22:38).
- Junior Emily Monahan-Morang (Freeport, Maine) placed 61st (23:28).
- Junior Rachel Donnelly-Cokinos (Monsey, N.Y.) finished 65th (23:45).
- Freshman Sheila Ford (Charlottesville, Va.) was 66th overall (23:51).
- Sophomore Camille Bales (Portland, Oregon/US Grant) finished 72nd (24:14).
- Freshman Jessica Horwitz (Winchester, Mass.) finished 75th (24:29).
"Great overall team effort," said head coach Bill Gray. "1-10 ran an incredible race in really humid conditions. Nicolina and Kristen both set the tempo early and they really brought it today."
Clark University returns to action next Saturday with an appearance in the Bruce Kirsch Cross Country Cup at Hopkinton State Park in Hopkinton, N.H. The race is slated to begin at 12:00 p.m.