ELON, N.C. -- The University of Delaware women's cross country team will be looking to peak on Saturday as the Blue Hens take part in the Colonial Athletic Association Championships at Elon University's Cross Country Course.

The Blue Hen women will be among nine teams battling for the team title as part of a six-kilometer course beginning at 10 a.m. The six-team men's championship will begin at 11 a.m. An awards ceremony will follow at 12 noon and will be aired on Facebook Live.

Delaware, led by head coach Wendy McFarlane-Smith and distance coach Ryan Waite, will be competing in its seventh meet of the season and have performed well, capturing the team title at the Delaware Invitational on Sept. 16, second at the Delaware Blue & Gold Invitational on Oct. 7, fourth at the Lehigh Invitational on Sept. 1, and fifth at the Elon Invitational on Sept. 2.

"We are anxious to see results on Saturday," said McFarlane-Smith, now in her sixth season at the helm. "The ladies have worked hard and Coach Ryan Waite has done a great job coaching and getting them ready to race. The goal is to score a lot better in team standing than previous years. Our mission is to go head-to-head in competition and let preparation dictate our success. There are a lot of standout performances within the conference so we have to be ready the face race challenges and trust that we have the tools to come out successful."

Leading the Blue Hens will be senior Liz McGroarty, who has paced Delaware in three of the four races in which she has competed in this season, including winning the Delaware Invitational individual crown and placing 12th at the Pre-Nationals at Louisville on Oct. 14. She placed 37th at the CAA meet in 2016.

One of the favorites for a high finish, she will be looking to become the first Blue Hen to place in the top 10 at the CAA meet since Emily Gispert place ninth in 2013 and the first to claim a top five finish since Colleen O'Brien in 2005.

Also competing on Saturday for the Blue Hens will be sophomore Stephanie Bazan, junior Jeanette Bendolph, senior co-captain Madeline Berman, sophomore Analise Kaminski, junior Leanza Lopez, sophomore Stephanie Palese, junior Emily Paolucci, freshman, Roxanne Ramirez, freshman Deja Rodriquez-Santiago, freshman Susanna Weir, and junior Lauren Zodl.

Delaware looks to improve upon a sixth place finish last season, which followed fifth place finishes in both 2014 and 2015. Since joining the CAA in 2001, Delaware has posted its best finishes with third place showings in 2001, 2012, and 2013. The Hens have won three league cross country titles overall, capturing the East Coast Conference championship in 1990 and North Atlantic Conference titles in 1991 and 1995.

William & Mary has won five straight team titles and 12 over the last 14 years. On the men's side, William & Mary has won 17 straight league titles.

MEDIA INFORMATION: Contact Scott Selheimer | selheime@udel.edu | Office: 302-831-8007 | Cell: 302-562-5129