Worth the wait: WXC takes first place at FIorida Tech Invite

Worth the wait: WXC takes first place at FIorida Tech Invite

MELBOURNE, Fla. – The Saint Leo women's cross country team may have had to wait an extra week for their first event of the season, but, oh – how they made that wait worthwhile.

The Lions recorded three runners among the top 10 non-Division I finishers and posted a first-place team and individual finish at the Florida Tech Invitational, Saturday afternoon at Wickham Park.

Running on the same course that will host the Sunshine State Conference Championship in October, junior Colett Rampf paced the Lions and the entire field with her time of 17:59.52 in the 5K event. Sophomores Alyssa Bayliff (3rd, 18:42.40) and Laura Tobin (8th, 19:11.75) rounded out the Saint Leo finishers among the top 10.

Junior Lauren Csubak crossed the line 16th overall (scoring 13th) with a time of 19:50.96, followed by senior Natalie McCormick in 20th place (scoring 16th) with a mark of 19:56.10.

Junior Haley Roussell finished 32nd overall (scoring 26th) with a time of 20:33.06 while sophomore Noemi Anaya was 43rd across the line (scoring 35th) with a time 20:58.73; both Roussell and Anaya were pushers for Saint Leo in the meet.

Rounding out the results for Saint Leo were freshman Fatima Abu-Rumman (46th, 21:02.50), senior Tiffany Gargiulo (67th, 21:42.80), and sophomore Heidi Churchill (76th, 22:10.89).

"I'm really excited for this women's team," said Kent Reiber, Saint Leo's men's and women's cross country coach. "Our race plan was to get into a good position to win the race as a team by 3K and we did just that. It's really exciting to see the women picking up right where they left off."

Saint Leo finished with 37 points, ahead of second-place Tampa with 59 points. Nova Southeastern was third overall with 116 points.

The Lions originally scheduled 2016 opener was slated for last Friday at the Southeastern University Fire Short Course Invitational. That event was cancelled amid the wind and rain accompanying Hurricane Hermine, forcing both Saint Leo cross country teams to delay their much anticipated season start to today's Florida Tech event.

Saint Leo women's cross country is idle from competition next week, but returns to competition on Saturday, Sept. 24, when it travels to Gainesville, Fla., to compete in the University of Florida Mountain Dew Invitational.

For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men's and women's cross country teams, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Youtube.