Presque Isle -
The University of Maine at Presque Isle Women's Cross Country team placed three runners in the top four and four in the top seven to pace the Owls to a season's opening win (23 Points) vs. Maine Maritime Academy (33 points) and Thomas College (NS) on Saturday.
Valentine Degiovanni (Fr. Nice, France) got off to an early lead (6:20 at the mile) which held up throughout over teammate Irina Norkin (Fr. Denmark, ME). Degiovanni's time of 22:36 over the five kilometer course led the way with Norkin finishing a strong second at 23:14. MMA's Sierra James was a close third at 23:40, with UMPI's Emmy Churchill (Jr. Washburn, ME) fourth at 25:28.
The top seven was rounded out by Abby L'Abbe in fifth (MMA, 27:05), Joanna Howard sixth (MMA, 27:29), and UMPI's Kendra Silvers seventh (So. North Berwick, ME, 27:50). UMPI's scoring was rounded out by Chenoa Jackson (Sr. Wilton, ME) in ninth place at 29:02, with Ashley Morton (So. Castle Hill, ME) finishing in a virtual tie in 10th just a fraction back. Coach Chris Smith indicated that this was "a strong early season's showing where we see just where everyone is. We'll use today's performances to set training as we prepare for subsequent races." Other Owls not competing were Jenny Sanborn (Sr. Sangerville, ME), Yvarline Toussaint (Fr. Brockton, MA), and Rebecca Griffin (So. Hodgdon, ME).
The Owls travel to Belfast next week for the MMA Mariner Invitational to preview the course that will be run on October 28 to contest the North Atlantic Conference Championship.