Salisbury cross country opens season with two fifth-place finishes

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's and women's cross country teams kicked off the 2013 season by hosting the Sea Gull Opener on Saturday morning at Winter Place Park. Both the men and women placed fifth in a field with two nationally ranked programs and two Division I teams.  

Women

Junior Kira Polimeni was Salisbury's top finisher on the women's side, placing 28th with a time of 24:05. Polimeni's best finish at the Sea Gull Opener came in 2011 when she placed 23rd with a time of 23:30.

Hannah Oneda of John Hopkins University, the nation's top-ranked program, easily took the top spot with a time of 21:54. No. 27 Rowan University was also in the field and its top runner, Megan Borz, took second place with a time of 22:02.  

Johns Hopkins took the team title with 23 points, edging out Rowan (55 points). Division I member Loyola University (Md.) (64 points) placed third ahead of Marymount University (Va.) (143 points), Salisbury (151), St. Mary's College (Md.) (152), Shenandoah University (203), Anne Arundel Community College (235) and Wesley College (262).

Junior Olivia Cloud was the second Sea Gull to come home, finishing in 25:17, to place 49th, while freshman Anna Van Zeijts finished her first collegiate race in 25:30 to take 56th place.  

Senior Michele Stromberg placed 68th with a time of 26:18, six seconds ahead of sophomore Becky Early, who placed 70th. Sophomores Devon Miller and Samantha Lucas crossed the finish line in a group. Miller finished in 26:38 while Lucas was one second behind. The pair finished in 74th and 76th, to round out Salisbury's top-seven finishers.  

Men

Sophomore Kyle Tockman placed 24th in the men's race, covering the 8,000 meters in 27:40. Tockman placed fourth at last year's Sea Gull Opener with a time of 26:33. United States Naval Academy runners Justin Maguire (25:47) and Harry Bullen (25:48) raced each other to the finish line to place first and second, respectively.

The Midshipmen won the men's team competition with 29 points, followed by No. 18 Johns Hopkins (45 points), Rowan (92), Salisbury Alumni (99) and Salisbury (131). The rest of the standings included St. Mary's (150), Loyola (175), Wesley (264), Shenandoah (269) and Marymount (273).

Senior Nathan Austin was Salisbury's second men's runner across the finish line, coming home in 27:49.43, finishing in 26th place. Sophomore Thomas Burke (27:49.78) was right behind in 27th and senior Joel Anderson placed 28th with a time of 27:50.

Sophomore Ian Wood came in 34th with a time of 28:09. Making their Sea Gull debuts, juniors George Martinez (28:19) and Brandon Horning (28:26) rounded out the Salisbury scoring. Martinez took 42nd and Horning finished in 44th.

The Sea Gulls will be off next week before traveling north on Sept. 14 to take part in Elizabethtown College's Blue Jay Challenge.

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