• Sophomore Cozette Collin led HPU with a 41st-place finish (22:46.50)
• Junior Katie Farina improved 33 spots from her 2013 finish at UVa to place 57th (23:17.32)
• The remainder of the HPU squad returns to action tonight at 5 p.m. at the UNCG Spartan Invitational
EARLYSVILLE, Va. – The High Point University women’s cross country team finished 10th at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational Friday.
The Panthers posted 270 points to place 10th at the nationally-acclaimed event outside Charlottesville. The No. 10 Virginia Cavaliers won their home meet with a total of 37 points. They were followed by No. 26 William & Mary (74), Wake Forest (94) and Arizona (95). Furman (109) rounded out the top-5 at the event.
Sophomore Cozette Collin led HPU for the first-time this season with a 41st-place finish. Collin crossed the finish line in 22:46.50. Junior Katie Farina was 57th in 23:17.32, improving 33 spots from her finish at the Virginia event in 2013.
“I really loved what I saw today from Katie Farina,” head coach Jenna Wrieden said. “Cozette took a nice step forward as well coming through as our No. 1 finisher. The nice thing about our group is that if someone has an off day there’s someone else there to step in right away. We have some depth that we never have had in the past.”
Senior Krista Willard (23:34.96) and freshman Kelly Hayes (23:38.14) finished back-to-back in 64th and 65th, while senior Leah Anne Wirfel was 72nd in 23:46.92. Sophomore Natalia Ocasio rounded out the HPU contingent in 24:39.95.
“We have to figure out to where to go from here. We can use this as a motivator or we can go back and be frustrated,” Wrieden said. “But knowing this group, I think we’ll use it as a motivator to put our heads down and train hard.”
The split-squad weekend for HPU continues with the UNCG Spartan Invitational today at 5 p.m. The Panthers then return to action in three weeks at the Blue Ridge Open Oct. 17 in Boone, N.C.
“We have a three-week break from racing, which is great. We’ll have a great chunk of time to make some positive changes in our training,” Wrieden said. “We’ll go into Boone very hungry and very motivated to race well heading into the conference championship.”