PRINCETON, N.J. – UMBC sophomore Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) set a new school 8k record and paced the Retrievers' men's squad for the second time this season with a 16th-place finish and senior Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) led the way for the women, Saturday morning at the Princeton Invitational.
The UMBC men placed seventh overall out of 30th teams with a score of 209 points, tied with America East rival Binghamton, while the women finished tenth of 25 teams with 318 points.
Omar recorded a career-best 8k time for the second time this season, this one breaking the UMBC school record, by completing the West Windsor Field course in 24:21. His time bests the previous mark of 24:45.65 set by teammate Brandan McGee (Hiram, Ohio/Crestwood) at last season's race at Princeton. Senior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) scored for the third time in four meets this season, finishing second for the Retrievers with a career-best time of 24:46, the third-fastest time in the school record book.
Sophomore Austin Hayslett (Mt. Airy, Md./Urbana) was the third Retriever across the line in a career-best time of 24:51 which matches Izudin Mehmedovic for the fourth-best time in program history. Senior Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley) and McGee rounded out the scoring squad for UMBC with Albino recording a career-best time (24:52) and McGee setting a season-best (25:04).
Mezebish paced the Retriever women with a 43rd-place finish at Princeton, finishing the race with a time of 22:40. After not scoring at the Paul Short Run at Lehigh, freshman Sarah Zielinski (Boonsboro, Md./Boonsboro) was the second UMBC runner across the line (22:53) in 58th-place.
Sophomore Nicole Dawson (Jessup, Md./Reservoir) continued her streak of scoring for the Retrievers, finishing in 62nd with a time of 22:58. Dawson has now scored in each of UMBC's four meets this season, in addition to each of the Black and Gold's seven competitions in 2012. Classmate Angel Bucci (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby) was just four seconds back (23:02) in 65th-place and senior Kirsten McGovern (Sykesville, Md./Century) rounded out the scoring (23:26).
The UMBC cross country teams now have a week off from competition before heading back to Vestal, N.Y. for the America East Championships at Binghamton on Nov. 2.