EMMITSBURG, Md. -- The University of Delaware women’s cross country team will open its 2013 season on Friday when the Blue Hens compete in the Mount St. Mary’s 5K Duals.

The meet, which begins at 1 p.m. and will be scored in a dual-scoring format, features the Blue Hens along with Mount St. Mary’s, American, George Washington, Maryland and Navy.

Delaware will be led by Wendy McFarlane, who is beginning her sixth season with the Blue Hens and her second as head coach of the women’s cross country team. UD returns 14 letterwinners from last year’s squad that finished third at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships, 10th at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals, and eighth at the ECAC Championships.

The Blue Hens will be paced by senior Lindsay Prettyman, who was Delaware’s top finisher in all seven meets in which she competed a year ago. Prettyman, the UD Alumni Association Team MVP during each of the last two seasons, was the Lehigh and Delaware Invitational champion last year when she was a first team Capital One/CoSIDA District 2 All-Academic selection.

Junior Nicole Daly will also be a major factor for Delaware, as she was the Blue Hens’ top finisher at the Penn State Spiked Shoe Invitational while posting second place finishes at the Lehigh and Delaware Invitationals.

Also returning for Delaware are seniors Alyssa Kennedy and Kellye Foulke, who each appeared in all but one meet a year ago.

Following the Mount St. Mary’s 5K Duals, the Blue Hens will host the first of their two home meets on Sept. 14 when they compete in the Delaware Invitational at White Clay Creek State Park. UD then participates in the Towson Invitational on Sept. 21, before competing in the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh on Oct. 5.

The Blue Hens will then host the Blue-Gold Invitational on Oct. 12, and three weeks later will participate in the Colonial Athletic Association Championships at Towson on Nov. 2. Following the NCAA District 2 Championships hosted by Lehigh on Nov. 15, the Delaware wraps up its season on Nov. 23 at the ECAC Championships at Van Cortlandt State Park in Bronx, N.Y.