WILMINGTON, Del. - - In the first race of the 2014 season, the Wilmington University cross country team opened the campaign with a fourth place finish in the women's heat and a second place finish in the men's heat at the 14th Annual WUXC Invite on Saturday afternoon at Carousel Park.
The women were first out of the box, running the 5K course on a hot and humid morning in Delaware. Ferrick led the Wildcats in her first meet with the team, finishing in 22:02.23. Senior Jeanette Halliburton placed 12th in 22:36.49 for the Wildcats while classmate SaraBeth Oppermann trailed close behind with a 14th place finish in 22:48.49.
Graduate student Tijen Ozcan was the fourth Wilmington scorer with a 21st place finish overall, crossing the line In 23:36.73, picking up 20 points for the Wildcats. Rounding out the women's scoring was junior Morgan Ferrick who placed 30th overall in 24:44.13, picking up 26 points for the team.
Junior newcomer Bailey Brooks placed 36th overall in a time of 25:35.72 in her first race as a Wildcat while Rachel Jones was the seventh Wildcat finisher on the morning with a time of 26:28.51. Sophomore Jordan Swain rounded out the Wildcats with a 44th place finish and a time of 36:16.65.
The Wildcats collected 77 points for fourth place overall, narrowly missing third place as a team by six points. Bloomfield College won the women's race with 43 points, earning a second, fourth, sixth, seventh, and 24th place finishes for the win.
The men placed three in the top-10, led by Mossman's fourth place finish. Mossman turned it on late in the 5 mile run, pass a Philadelphia runner in the last 200 yards for the fourth place finish. He crossed the line in 30:37.63.
Sophomore newcomer Chris Vitek finished sixth overall with a time of 31:28.68 in his first race as a Wildcat while freshman Andrew Milham placed eighth overall with a time of 32:17.39 in his first race as a Wildcat.
Junior Quinn Marvel was the fourth finisher for the Wildcats, placing 14th overall and earning 12 points while finishing in 33:10.23. Senior Mike Wright was the final point getter for the Wildcats, finishing 16th overall and earning the team 14 points. Wright finished in 33:58.16.
The Wildcats picked up 44 points on the day, but it wasn't enough to take down Philadelphia who finished with 25 points, getting all five scorers inside the top-10.
Georgian Court's freshman Jessica Handsaker won medalist honors for the women, winning the race in 21:11.48 while Philadelphia's Eric Lacy took medalist honors on the men's side with a time of 29:25.70.
The Wildcats return to action next weekend as they head to neighboring White Clay Creek State Park in Newark, Del., to run in the UD Invite. The women's gun goes off at 10:30 a.m., followed by the men at 11:15 a.m.