BANGOR, ME – The Army West Point women’s cross country team took the top eleven spots in a strong effort at the season opening dual meet against Maine.
Freshman Alexandra Gibbs led the charge for the Black Knights, placing first with a time of 16:30.6 in her collegiate debut. Sophomores Dominique Shultz and Jordan Jones placed behind her in second and third respectively.
The result marks the second consecutive season opener in which the race was won by a freshman, after Shelby Piccinic crossed the line first in the 2018 event.
Head Coach Mike Smith said, “”I am pleased with how we performed today. The course was very challenging. It was muddy and wet and there were a lot of ups and downs, so it was as much a race against the course as it was a competitive test against another team.
“We had a lot of young women on the starting line today in their first collegiate competition. That can be a mixed bag sometimes, so it was great to see so many of our plebes running at the front of the race. I cautioned them to be somewhat conservative early, but they have so much fight in them that they just started hammering from the gun. We knew that we had recruited some talented kids, but training and racing are two different things. So what we saw today in terms of competitive spirit was really encouraging.
“I love the instincts of this group. Allie Gibbs and Dominique Shultz did a nice job of pushing the pace together. Dom had some real struggles last year, but has really started to emerge this fall. I could say the same thing about Jordan Jones. She battled a lot of physical issues last year and just needed a summer to get herself going. Today was a nice confidence booster for both of those women. I was not surprised to see Allie Gibbs come home first today. We knew in the recruiting process that she had some raw untapped ability. Since the start of fall training camp she has been as good as advertised. We are lucky to have this solid group of young women.
“While today was encouraging, it is not really a defining moment. We have some serious tests in training and competitive challenges ahead of us so this is just a start. They can enjoy the rest of this weekend and look forward to a lot of work in the coming weeks.”
1. Alexandra Gibbs – 16:30.6
2. Dominique Shultz – 16:35.0
3. Jordan Jones – 16:35.8
4. Kajol Maheshwari – 16:50.0
5. Lily Nunnery – 16:53.9
The Black Knights host the Army Open in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. on Sept. 13.