DOVER, Del.- For the fourth time in the past five years, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore men's cross country team placed first at the Delaware State University Invitational as the team took three of the first four places to claim gold on Saturday afternoon.
The women's team ran well themselves as sophomore Rachel Halmon (Waldorf, Md.) took eighth overall to guide the Lady Hawks to a second-place finish. The men's team won the four mile event by just one point, while the women held off a strong charge by Delaware State to solidify their position in the 5k.
It was Khalil Rmidi Kinini (Malaga, Spain) once again leading the way for the men's team after he placed third overall with a commanding time of 20:55.99. The freshman was followed by two fellow classmen as Derrick Cheruiyot (Nairobi, Kenya) and Nassar Whitehead (Sunrise, Fla.), placed fourth and fifth, respectively. Cheruiyot ended the race in 21:29.00, while Whitehead
finished a second later in 21:30.04.
Senior Codjo Gbedo (New Carrollton, Md.) was the fourth Hawk to place in the top-10 as he concluded his four mile run in 22:21.63 for 10th place. Senior Alonzo Jarmon (Bowie, Md.) capped the scoring for the men in 16th place with a time of 22:56.67. UMES also had four other runners compete in the event and three of the four finished within the top-30.
Halmon was the pace setter for the women for the second consecutive race with an eighth-place time of 19:58.12. Sophomore Shantol Hemley (St. Catherine, Jamaica) made it two top-10 finishes for the Lady Hawks with a 10th place finish in 20:59.87. Freshman Jheniel Kelly (Edgewood, Md.) and sophomore Margaret Wilmot-Francis claimed 11th and 12th, respectively. Kelly ended in 21:00.59 and Wilmot-Francis finished the race in 21:03.46. Sophomore Annis Mars (Brooklyn, N.Y.) took 20th in 23:22.92.
The men's team collected 38 points to claim the top position. The total was one better than Morgan State (39), who finished second despite taking the first two finishes in the event. Morgan State's Christian Smooth won the race by over 30 seconds with a time of 20:22.99. Morgan State won the women's race after taking the top-5 positions at the race, while UMES claimed second with 61 points. MSU's Ashley Seymour won the 5k race with a time of 17:53.27.
The teams return to action this weekend as UMES hosts the Cappy Anderson Invitational on Saturday afternoon at the UMES Cross Country Course. Last year, the women's team finished in the top-5 and the men took seventh overall at the event.