The UMBC men's cross country squad returns to the course on Saturday, Oct. 14th as head coach Matt Gittermann's harriers compete at the Princeton Invitational on the campus of Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. The men's 8k race is at 9:30 a.m., while the women's 6k race begins at 10:30 a.m.
Competing at the meet are teams from: American, Columbia, George Mason, George Washington, Guelph (men), Hampton (women), Harvard, Hofstra, La Salle, Lehigh (men), Lipscomb, Marist, Maryland (women), McNeese State, Monmouth, Penn, Rider, St. Joseph's, Stony Brook, Temple, Towson (women), UMBC and Laval.
This meet will be the Retrievers' final competition before the post-season races at the America East Championships and the NCAA Regionals.
In Review: The Retrievers most recently competed in the 44th Paul Short Invitational Friday, Sept. 29th.
Senior Urgy Eado (Rockville, Md.) broke into the top 100 and led UMBC across the finish line held on the campus of Lehigh University.
Eado placed 97th overall out of a field of 359 finishers, breaking the tape in a time of 24:59. The senior placed 108th a year ago on the same 8k trek, coming in at 24:58, just three seconds shy of a UMBC all-time top-10 finish.
Sophomore Elijah Hawkins (Cockeysville, Md./Dulaney) bested Eado's time from last year by one second (24:58) and placed 121st overall. Hawkins did not compete at Lehigh a year ago and his best previous UMBC finish was as the Retrievers' fifth-best finisher in the most recent meet at Navy.
Junior Nathan Nadal (Silver Spring, Md.) and senior Rhys Burgett (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) also cracked the top 200 in the meet. Nadal placed 158th in a time of 25:12, while Burgett crossed in 25:28, good for 197th position.
UMBC's total time of 2:06.16 was over two minutes faster than last year's mark of 2:08.31. The Retrievers placed 31st of the 40 competing men's squads in the top collegiate division.
Last Year at the Princeton Invitational: Eado continued his mid-season surge, pacing the Retrievers with a 14th place effort against a strong field at the Princeton Invitational at the West Windsor Fields in crisp conditions a year ago. Eado covered the 8k course in 24:36.6, the second-fastest 8k time in school history.
UMBC (345) finished 11th overall in a field of 23 teams. Columbia captured the men's title, placing four runners in the top 15 and posting a total of 68. Following Eado's lead, sophomore Matt Kingeter (Glencoe, Md./Hereford) advanced to UMBC's second overall finisher. He placed in the top five for the first time at Paul Short and completed the course at Princeton in 25:14, 64th overall, knocking 41 seconds off his previous best time.
Up Next: The Retrievers will return to action on Oct. 28th at the America East Championships at the University of Vermont.