BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The University of Delaware women’s cross country enjoyed an impressive 2012 season debut on Friday evening as junior Lindsay Prettyman was the overall winner and the Blue Hens captured the team title at the Lehigh Invitational at the Goodman Campus Course.

Prettyman (below left) covered the six-kilometer course in 22:34.63 to capture her first career meet title and was among four Blue Hen runners in the top 10 as Delaware captured the team title with 26 points.

Host Lehigh was second with 50 points followed by Kutztown, Muhlenberg, Mt. St. Mary’s, West Chester, Lafayette, Marietta, and Moravian in the nine-team field.


“We had a great run by the team,” said first-year head coach Wendy McFarlane, who also doubles as the UD women’s indoor and outdoor track & field teams. “There was a team confidence out there, they worked together, and they looked comfortable. It was great that we came out on top.”

Prettyman posted her fourth career top 10 finish and led the Blue Hens for the seventh time in her last eight competitions. She became the first Delaware runner to capture an individual meet title since Julia Somers won the Delaware Invitational crown in 2009. The team title was Delaware’s first since winning its own Blue & Gold Invitational in 2010.

Finishing right behind Prettyman in second place was teammate Nicole Daly, who ran to a second place time of 22:37.51 to begin her sophomore season. Delaware freshman Shannon Kelly finished fifth overall in 22:53.02 while fellow rookie Kellye Foulke posted a seventh place finish in a clocking of 22:58.45.

Other Delaware top 25 finishes were put in by Katie Deinert (11th in 23:22.93), Emily Gispert (18th in 23:38.83), Meredith Steenkamer (23rd in 23:43.66), and Nicole Rittman (25th in 23:44.69). In all, a total of 22 Blue Hen runners competed in the season-opening meet.

Delaware will continue action next Saturday, Sept. 8, when the Blue Hens compete at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational at Penn State.

AGATE:

Final Team Standings: 1. Delaware - 26; 2. Lehigh - 50; 3. Kutztown - 88; 4. Muhlenberg - 130; 5. Mt. St. Mary’s - 141; 6. West Chester, Lafayette - 148; 8. Marietta - 254; 9. Moravian - 263.

Top 10 Finishers: 1. Lindsay Prettyman (Delaware), 22:34.63; 2. Nicole Daly (Delaware), 22:37.51; 3. Samantha Mayden (Muhlenberg), 22:42.92; 4. Stephanie Borland (Kutztown), 22:47.78; 5. Shannon Kelly (Delaware), 22:53.02; 6. Hannah Pierce (Lehigh), 22:57.91; 7. Kellye Foulke (Delaware), 22:58.45; 8. Shannon Nelson (Lehigh), 23:08.34; 9. Jennifer Markham (Lehigh), 23:11.83; 10. Amanda Eisman (West Chester), 23:17.07.

Other Delaware Finishers: 11. Katie Deinert, 23:22.93; 18. Emily Gispert, 23:38.83; 23. Meredith Steenkamer, 23:43.66; 25. Nicole Rittman, 23:44.69; 29. Alyssa Kennedy, 24:02.55; 30. Michele Lambert, 24:04.64; 31. Rachel Weinberger, 24:05.28; 33. Emma Sidoriak, 24:10.79; 41. Katrina Steenkamer, 24:55.80; 45. Meg O’Brien. 25:06.06; 47. Francine Gebbia, 25:13.10; 48. Kayla Koonz, 25:14.12; 60. Danielle Wegrzyn 25:42.90; 62. Allison Calvarese, 25:49.25; 66. Elizabeth King, 25:54.19; 69. Alex Finocchio, 26:19.21; 71. Beth Sowden, 26:29.06; 80. Melissa Mazzo, 27:08.99