BALTIMORE – Fresh off a weekend away from competition, the UMBC cross country teams travel to New Jersey for the Princeton Invitation on Saturday. The women's 6k race is set to begin at West Windsor Field at 10:30 a.m. with the men's 8k competition scheduled to start at 11:15 a.m.
The Retriever men, ranked ninth in the Oct. 7 USTFCCCA poll, earned a 13th-place finish, out of 47 teams, last time out at the Paul Short Run at Lehigh University. Sophomore Redatu Semeon (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone) paced UMBC for the first time in his career while recording a career-best 8k time of 25:02, which ties for the tenth-fastest time in program history. Sophomore Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) took 78th while senior Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley) placed 95th in the field of nearly 400 racers.
In addition to the top finish against a national field in Pennsylvania, UMBC won the America East Pre-Conference Meet to start the season on Sept. 7, and then followed it with a fourth-place finish at the Navy Invitational on Sept. 14. Junior Eric Schuler (Columbia, Md./Reservoir) led all competitors at the America East race at Binghamton, crossing the line with the second-fastest time in course history, 25:33.1. Omar then took the top spot for the Retrievers in Annapolis, Md. with a top career time of 24:54.90.
Sophomore Nicole Dawson (Jessup, Md./Hammond) led the UMBC women at each of the first two races of the season, marking the first time she paced the Retrievers in her career. During her 16th-place finish at the Salty Dog Invitation on Sept. 14, Dawson registered a career-best 6k time of 21:58.88 which ranks as the sixth-fastest in school history. At the Paul Short Run, Dawson placed 30th as UMBC finished fifth out of 45 teams in the Brown Division.
Senior Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) paced the Retrievers at Lehigh, crossing the line in 22:21 for 19th-place out of 365 runners. Mezebish also scored at the Retrievers' first two competitions, recording a career-best 6k time of 22:00.77 at the Salty Dog meet in Annapolis to rank seventh in the UMBC record book.