Women’s cross country: Tuned up and ready for the conference championships

KINGS PARK, N.Y. – Despite running without four key contributors, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy women's cross country team took sixth place at the St. Joseph's Invitational at Sunken Meadow State Park on Saturday.

The Mariners did not have Kelly Whalen, Amber Kinter, Ellie Coulter and Mary Silk.

Senior Lauren Rattan finished eighth around 120 runners in 21:39 over the very hilly 5K course in the team's final tune-up before next Saturday's Landmark Championships in Bethlehem, Pa. (Moravian College will host the meet).

"This was  a pretty relaxed race for us, a chance to just go out and have fun before getting down to business at the Landmark Conference Championships next week," Mariners women's head cross country coach Greg Lott said. "The course at Sunken Meadow is absolutely brutal but it was in good shape and it was a beautiful day for racing.

"We rested almost half of our girls in an effort to get them as healthy as possible going into conferences. The ladies that raced did very well and still finished strongly as a group. I'm excited to see how they come together next week."

Photo: Senior Lauren Rattan was the top finisher among Mariners women at the St. Joseph's Invitational.