WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia - The UNCW women came in third place and the men placed fifth at the 54th Annual William & Mary Cross Country Invitational Saturday on the rolling grounds of Eastern State Hospital.
The Seahawks, competing in their third race of the season, tackled a hilly course for the first time this fall and got a taste of the course they'll be running in the CAA Championships on Oct. 27.
The host Tribe won both races in convincing fashion. In the 5K women's race, William & Mary took first with 22 points, followed by Richmond (41), UNCW (98), George Mason (105), Christopher Newport (129), Hampton (182) and VCU (201). In the 8K men's competition, the Tribe captured first with 32 points, trailed by George Mason (48), Richmond (52), VCU (111), UNCW (132), Christopher Newport (154) and Hampton (215).
Freshman Alyssa Torres (N.W. Guilford HS/Greensboro, N.C.) was UNCW's top finisher in the women's race, clocking a 19:43 time for 24th place, just ahead of teammate Ashley Wybersky. W&M's Elaina Balouris took first against 79 entries at 17:39
On the men's side, junior John Riemer (Hereford HS/Monkton, Md.) was UNCW's top runner, finishing 22nd out of 86 runners with a time of 26:47 on the 8K course.
"It was a tough day for us," said Layne Schwier, assistant cross country/track and field coach. "To go from such a flat course with good footing one week ago to a rather hilly course with poor footing was quite an adjustment for our team. We got a good idea of what to expect at the CAA meet, so we can use this as a learning experience.
"We were beaten by two very good teams in the women's race. The times don't show how well our women ran because of the difficulty of the course. Alyssa (Torres) and Ashley (Wybersky) ran strong up front. Kim (Black) and Haley Kapheim really stepped up.
"In the men's race, John (Riemer) had a solid race. Casey (Buddenbaum) and Josh (Drew) also ran well. The men have a lot of work ahead of them to finish near the front of the conference when we return at the end of October."
The Seahawks are idle next weekend before returning to action Friday, Sept. 28, at the UNC Charlotte Invitational.
W&M Invitational Men's Team Standings: W&M (32), George Mason (48), Richmond (52), VCU (111), UNCW (132), Christopher Newport (154), Hampton (215).
UNCW Individual Men's Results: John Riemer, 22nd, 26:47; Josh Drew, 35th, 27:23; Casey Buddenbaum, 39th, 27:30; Brian Gottwalt, 43rd, 27:50; Nick Lukas, 50th, 28:18; Mike Parsons, 51st, 28:21; Dylan Skinner, 52nd, 28:29; Cole Vaughn, 54th, 28;33; Ryan O'Connor, 61st, 29:07; Ryan Rudisill, 69th, 30:07; Mike Brewer, 76th, 30:58.
W&M Invitational Women's Team Standings: W&M (22), Richmond (41), UNCW (98), George Mason (105), Christopher Newport (129), Hampton (182), VCU (201)