The Howard Community College cross country team started the 2013 season on Saturday at the Lebanon Valley College/Dutchmen Invitational. The men were fifth, while the women placed 12th.
Caroline Haden (Howard High School) was the first woman to cross the finish line for the Dragons, placing 15th overall with a time of 20:20. She was followed by: Anna Sandacz, who finished 38th in 21:59, Rachael Lape (Marriotts Ridge) 67th in 24:24, Cynthia Rockerfeller 70th in 24:35, Kayla Johnson (Atholton) 77th in 26:21, Gabrielle Petty 79th in 27:39 and Shannon Stubs (Chapelgate) 80th in 27:46.
Adam Gartrell (Reservoir) was the top finisher for the mens side, coming in seventh with a time of 27:27. Gary Smolyak (Atholton) 12th in 28:08, Sam Graves 24th in 28:51, Brooks Ward 27th in 29:01, John Leierzapf (Long Reach) 42nd in 31:03 and Eric Sugrowe (Mt. Hebron) 66th in 35:08 rounded out the men's finishers.
"Overall, I felt it was a good debut for the team this season," said Coach Steve Musselman. "I saw some good things. I saw some things we can certainly work on. This meet gave the women the opportunity to get rid of some nerves. The men had to make adjustments to the longer distance. This is a fun, competitive group. We can see some good things down the road with some hard work."
In the first NJCAA D-III Cross Country Poll, the women are ranked 10th and the men are 5th.