Women's Cross Country

Paul Short Invitational In Sights For Women's Cross Country

Co-Captain Danielle McNiff will look to lead the Minutewomen in the Paul Short Invitational.

Co-Captain Danielle McNiff will look to lead the Minutewomen in the Paul Short Invitational.

Sept. 27, 2012

AMHERST, Mass. - After two home meets and an off week last week the Minutewomen will make their first road trip of the season to compete in the annual Paul Short Invitational. The 6k Gold Race is among the most challenging races the women will compete in this season and will commence on Friday morning at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The start time of the race is set for 11:45 AM with the 6k Open Race is scheduled for 10:00 AM.

Rachel Hilliard and Sarah Barrett have been consistent and good for the Minutewomen in the first two weeks of competition. Hilliard has landed herself a first and second place finish for the team with a second place finish overall so far while Barrett has placed third and fourth in her first two weeks of competition. Danielle McNiff is a senior co-captain that has the experience and could be a difference maker for UMass on Friday. McNiff placed third for the team in week one, crossing the finish line at 20:09.79 in a 5k race. Also making improvements from week one to week two are Katie Powers and Mary Cole. The two had a tough season opener but bounced back in the second meet of the season placing fourth and fifth for the team.

Along with her experienced runners, Coach LaFreniere is giving three freshmen a taste of what it's like to run in a big meet like the Paul Short Invitational. Molly McMahon and Elizabeth Blanchard are two promising freshmen who have given good performances the past two weeks but Carly Zinner stands out for the Minutewomen. The newcomer has flip-flopped with Hilliard for the one and two spot in both meets this season, finishing first for UMass in the Minuteman Invitational with a time of 19:09.47. She finished second to Hilliard in the UMass Invitational when the women slighted Maine in week one of the 2012 cross country season. Here's what Zinner had to say about her success so far and what she's looking forward to in this week's Paul Short Invitational.



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