UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Saint Joseph's women's cross country squad raced at a high level against nationally-ranked competition en route to a sixth-place team finish in a field of 10 squads at the 2018 Penn State Spiked Shoe Invitational on Friday evening. The Hawks crossed PSU's Blue-White Golf Course in an average 6k time of 22:46 and a 45-second spread for 204 points on the evening.

Not ranked as one of the top 15 teams in the USTFCCCA NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region's Preseason Poll, the Hawks came in full force and knocked off seventh-ranked Pittsburgh, 13th-ranked American, and 14th-ranked Navy for the sixth-place team finish. 

Senior Lindsey Oremus led the Hawks with a 32nd-place individual finish in a field of 127 runners. Paced by a 5:58 mile average, Oremus clocked in with a time of 22:17. The time was an improvement on her sophomore-year time at Spiked Shoe (22:54) by 37 seconds.

"The team looked strong and faired well against very respectable teams," said Oremus following the race. "To finish sixth was a huge stepping stone for our team this year. I'm looking forward to seeing what this season has in store for us."

Senior Elaine Estes (22:37), senior Lucy Harmon (22:56), and junior Emily Bracken (22:57) went 50th, 58th, and 59th, respectively, as SJU's core four went sub-23:00 on the night. 

"Our top four group is really working together and getting after it this season," added Oremus. "Even when put against nationally-ranked teams today, we didn't back down."

In just her second collegiate race, rookie Gabriella Bamford broke into SJU's scoring group with a time of 23:02. Her performance was good for 61st overall and stood as the 18th-fastest performance by a freshman.

Juniors Abigail McGann (23:29) and Rose Barrett (23:30) finished as SJU's #6 (78th) and #7 (79th) runners.

Select Hawks will next race at the Haverford Main Line Invitational next Friday, September 14. The 4k race is set for 4:30 p.m. at Haverford College's Alumni Cross Country Course in Haverford, Pa.