Emmitsburg, Md. – The UMBC men's cross country team opened their 2016 campaign in traditional style, competing at the Mount St. Mary's Dual 5k's. Ninety competitors from American, the Mount, Franklin Pierce, George Washington and UMBC took part in ideal weather conditions.
UMBC placed its top five competitors amongst the top 13 attached runners. In his first collegiate race, freshman Matt Bennett (Dunkirk, Md./Northern) crossed the tape first for the Retrievers, completing the 3.11-mile trek in a time of 15:46.2. Junior Rhys Burgett (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) was right behind Bennett, placing sixth in 15:47.2.
Another trio of Retrievers placed in 11th through 13th positions, led by senior Jon Luckin (Parkton, Md./Hereford), who crossed in 15:58.8. Red-shirt freshman Matthew Kane (Sykesville, Md./Century) came in at 16:00.4, followed closely by sophomore Nathan Nadal (Silver Spring, Md./Wootton) at 16:04.7.
Nineteen Retrievers took part in the opening day race, as UMBC finished at 2-2.
Three American University runners placed in the top four and the Eagles edged UMBC, 28-30. AU's Alaeldin Tirba posted the top time of 15:30.5.
UMBC easily posted dual meet victories over the host Mountaineers (15-50) and Franklin Pierce (18-42), but were edged by George Washington, 26-29.
The Retrievers return to action in eight days when they compete at the Navy Invitational. The meet on Saturday gets underway at 10:15 a.m.