NEWARK, Del. -- University of Delaware cross country standout Liz McGroarty had a little better experience at the Delaware Invitational Saturday morning than she had a year ago.

Last September, McGroarty did not even finish this race as the heat and humidity knocked her and several other runners out of action before the finish line.

This year, she made up for last year’s disappointment in a big way as she covered the six-kilometer White Clay Creek State Park course in a time of 23:05.9 to take the victory and outrun the nearest competitor, her teammate, freshman Roxanne Ramirez (24:03.96), by almost a minute. 

Delaware placed nine runners in the top 10 to dominate the event and take first place with 18 points. 

Jefferson University was second with 81 points followed by Chestnut Hill, Wilmington University, Mercer County Community College, Howard, Nyack, Holy Family, Goldey-Beacom, and Lincoln (Pa.) in the 10-team varsity field. 

Delaware freshman Susanna Weir placed fourth overall followed by teammates Claire Beautz, Jeanette Bendolph, Stephanie Bazan, Maddie Olivere, Maddie Berman, and Analise Kaminski in the top 10.

Wilmington University captured the men's team title with 77 points. Jefferson was third followed by Chestnut Hill, Howard, Nyack, Goldey-Beacom, Felician, Holy Family, and Lincoln in the nine-team varsity field.

Milan Duke of Jefferson was the individual winner with a time of 27:04.45 over the eight-kilometer course.

Head Coach Wendy McFarlane-Smith
“I am happy and grateful to have such a great team this year. We have a lot of young talent. We felt good coming into the race, we were excited, and we thought first place was inevitable. The girls have been working so hard this fall so it was great to see them go out and dominate like they did today."

McFarlane on Liz McGroarty
“Liz is very motivated and working so hard this fall. She is in top shape, very fit, and is doing all the right things. She is so disciplined in her approach and I am looking for really big things from her this year. Last year Liz had some setbacks and struggled in this particular race and didn’t finish. But this was a nice way to come back.”

Liz McGroarty
“We really just wanted to work on staying relaxed and then really start to push. We are trying to be conservative during this first half of the season so we can come on strong during the championship season. I felt relaxed today and wanted to push myself just to see where I am at this point in the season. This course is very difficult and hilly and I always seem to have a chip on my shoulder about it. I think I put too much pressure on myself last year and things didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. I was just trying not to think about it and put it in the past.”

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