CULLOWHEE, N.C. — The High Point University women’s cross country team opened the season with a third-place finish at the Western Carolina Cross Country Invitational on Friday in Cullowhee, N.C. Freshman Cozette Collin led HPU with a ninth-place finish and sophomore Katie Farina was next in 12th overall.
“Cozette had a stand-out race, she went out with the lead pack from the gun,” said HPU head women’s cross country coach Jenna Wrieden. “Katie Farina, Sarah Dorrell and Julia Zautcke all really stood out. Today was a good learning experience. We have to work on finishing well and closing our 1-5 gap if we want to win the Big South Championship in two months. We need to work on confidence and grit, and that comes from preparation.”
Florida swept the race with 15 points followed by Furman (53) and High Point (81). The Panthers topped three other Big South teams in the 12-team race as UNC Asheville took fourth, Winthrop placed sixth and Gardner-Webb placed 10th.
Collin placed ninth overall with a time of 11:27.43 on the two-mile course. Farina’s 12th-place finish came with a time of 11:41.56. Junior Sarah Dorrell placed 16th in 11:52.81. Sophomore Julia Zautcke placed 19th in 11:56.16 and junior Lauren Blackwell rounded out HPU’s top five with a 25th-place finish in a time of 12:02.89.
Senior Audrey Malloy placed 36th in 12:14.83. Sophomore Erika Peoples placed 46th, junior Krista Willard took 47th and freshman Natalia Ocasio placed 48th.
High Point next races in the Furman University Cross Country Classic on Sept. 14 in Greenville, S.C. The Panthers then head North for the VMI Invitational on Sept. 21, which is on the same course as the Big South Championship on Nov. 2.