HANOVER, N.H.- The University of Connecticut women’s cross country team opened the 2012 campaign with a fourth place finish on 78 points at the Dartmouth Invitational on Saturday morning. The Mid-Atlantic Region’s top seeded Georgetown walked away with first place after totaling 33 points, the hosting Dartmouth was second with 57 points and the Northeast Region’s top ranked team Syracuse was third with 67 points.
"Today was a solid outing for the team and an important opportunity for most of our freshman to get a feel for college racing. We sat out some of our best athletes so I wasn’t sure how we would hold up to these national caliber squads," stated head coach Andrea Grove-McDonough. "We had an excellent day by both Lauren Sara and Allison Lasnicki with top 5 finishes from them. With Lauren losing only to National Champion Abby D’agostino and no doubt Allison Lasnicki is going to be a big factor in our success this year."
Junior Lauren Sara led the squad with a second place finish in 21:23.50 finishing behind Dartmouth’s All-American and National Champion Abbey D’Agostino. Also registering a top-five finish was junior Allison Lasnicki crossing the finish line in fourth with a time of 21:32.70.
UConn, with a total of nine runners competing on Saturday, had seven Huskies complete the meet in the top fifty slots with freshman Abby Mace concluding the morning in 22nd (22:34.60), freshman Emily Durgin in the 37th seat (23:13.10), senior Allison Cooper crossed the finish line in 23:26.20 for 41st place, senior Kim Moran was right behind her teammate with a 42nd (23:26.50) place finish and freshman Laura Williamson was ended the day in 46th in a time of 23:46.90.
"Abby Mace also had a very nice debut for us and I am really looking forward to her development throughout the season. Otherwise we are just focused on continuing to build fitness and staying healthy and focused for what’s ahead," finished Grove-McDonough.
Rounding out the Huskies competing in the Dartmouth Invitational was freshman Jen Ross with a time of 24:41.40 and sophomore Terra Briody finishing in 24:59.40.
Connecticut will return to competition on Saturday, September 22 at the CCSU Ted Owens Invitational. The race will begin at 11 a.m. at the Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, Conn.