The UMBC men's and women's cross country squads open their 2018 campaigns in traditional style, as both squads travel to Emmitsburg, Md., to take part in the Mount St. Mary's Dual 5k's on Friday afternoon, August 31. The men will compete first at 1:00 p.m., followed by the ladies.
PARTICULARS: The course is located within the Mount's athletic complex, starting and finishing between the softball and stadium complexes… Twitter updates will be provided at @umbcxctr… The race will be scored in a dual-scoring format with each score receiving a dual-meet score against each of the other opponents… Results will be available following the race at www.mountathletics.com and www.mdtimingllc.com.
SCHOOLS COMPETING: Mount St. Mary's, Maryland, Johns Hopkins, George Washington, Franklin & Pierce, UMBC, Navy, Washington Adventist, Montgomery College.
FOR OPENERS: The Retrievers have debuted at Mount St. Mary's in each of the last five seasons and 12 of the last 14 campaigns.
TITLES, NOT TURTLES: The men captured the team title in 2008 and shared the title with Navy in 2014. Led by medalist Sarah Daly, biological sciences, '15, the women earned the championship in 2015. Daly also won the individual title in 2014. Sara Parkinson, '11, geography and environmental systems, captured medalist honors in 2010.
UMBC Athletics' Hall of Famer Izudin Mehmedovic, political science, '07, is UMBC's lone men's individual medalist, having won the event in its second year of existence in 2005.
TOP DAWGS: Head Coach Matt Gittermann returns for his his 11th year at the helm, while head track and field coach and UMBC Hall of Famer David Bobb (UMBC, '97), who assists Gittermann, celebrates his 20th year coaching at his alma mater.
LADIES FIRST: Running in unseasonably cool conditions, the Retrievers bested the host Mountaineers, 16-44, and Franklin Pierce, 23-35, but were defeated by strong sides from Navy, GW, American and Maryland at last year's event. Junior Briana Roberts (Pennsauken, N.J.) was the Retrievers' second overall finisher, breaking the tape at 19:48.36.
WILLKOMMEN, BIENVENUE, WELCOME: The ladies return 11 letterwinners and introduce six freshmen to the 2018 roster.
WATCH OUT FOR: Seniors Kelsey Ponton (Laurel, Md./Reservoir) and Alexis Bartelloni (Morganville, N.J.) and juniors Briana Roberts and Kaya Knake (Canton, Mich.)… Coach Gittermann cited Bartelloni for her strong senior leadership… Freshmen Emmy Beyer (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) and Morgan Casey (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery-Blair) could make an immediate impact early in their tenures.
GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES: Senior Matt Kane (Sykesville, Md./Century) led the squad and posted an eighth-place finish (of 85 competitors) at last year's 5K Duals. Kane completed the course in a time of 15:39.28, 21 seconds faster than his 12th-place finish as a sophomore. It was the first time in his career that Kane led his teammates across the line.
The men posted two dual meet victories and conceded two defeats in the opening competition for all five squads. UMBC defeated the host Mountaineers, 21-39, and Franklin Pierce, 15-50, but fell to American, 16-39, and George Washington, 20-37.
A GLANCE AT THE ROSTER: The men return a dozen letterwinners and welcome seven newcomers to the 2018 roster.
TOP DAWGS: Kane, along with classmate Nathan Nadal (Silver Spring, Md./Wooten) and junior Miles Smith (LaPlata, Md./LaPlata) are expected to pace the Retrievers early in the season… Freshman Chris Thoms (Gaithersburg, Md./Quince Orchard) headlines the newcomers and could make an early impact.
QUOTABLE: "For both teams we are looking for growth from last year and growth over the course of the season," Coach Gittermann said.
UP NEXT: Both squads make the short trip, in the other direction, visiting Annapolis and the U.S. Naval Academy for the Navy Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 15.