Freshman Brooklyne Ridder Notches First Career Victory at Cappy Anderson
Sept. 20, 2009
PRINCESS ANNE, Md.: September 19, 2009 - Freshman Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio) captured her first career victory while sophomore Vince McNally (Smoketown, Pa.) paced the Nittany Lion men with a fifth-place finish, Saturday at the Cappy Anderson Invitational on the campus of Maryland-Eastern Shore. Propelled by three runners in the top 10, the Nittany Lion women finished second-to-only No. 7 Princeton in the team standings. The Nittany Lions turned in a fourth-place finish on the men's side.
"I think it was a competitive day for both our teams," said Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Beth Alford-Sullivan. "It was great to see Vince open up and shake the cobwebs off, and see him pick up right where he left off last year. It was also great to see Brooklyne get her first collegiate win, and lead the ladies in a very gritty and competitive team effort today."
Ridder and her teammates held their own in the lead pack from the start of the race, before the Princeton contingent mounted a surge with just under 1,000-meters to go with only Ridder covering the move. Rounding the final turn in a pack of Princeton Tigers, Ridder unleashed an impressive finishing kick on the homestretch, breaking the tape in 17:41 for the 5,000-meter course and earning her first collegiate win.
"I held back a little bit through the first mile, so I had a little more energy through the second and third mile," said the freshman of her race strategy. "So, when I was in the group with the Princeton girls, I felt I had enough energy to get them at the end."
Princeton, which scored a fifth-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Championships, would claim in next seven spots, just ahead of freshman Nicole Lord (Media, Pa.) in ninth place. Lord would cover the course in 17:52. Sophomore Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) would finish as the Lions' third runner, coming in 10th overall with a time of 17:53. Senior Claire Berryman (Morgantown, W.Va.) - in her first race of the 2009 season - also recorded a top 15 effort, placing 12th in 17:56. Freshman Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.) rounded out the Lion top five, slipping under the 18-minute barrier with an effort of 17:59 to place 15th overall.
The Lions' 37-point total was good for second-place honors on what will also be the site of the 2009 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships in November. Princeton topped the field with 20, while UMBC took third with 75.
McNally, who was an all-region finisher as a freshman in 2008, led the Lions over the 8,000-meter men's course, placing fifth in 25:28. After starting off conservative through the early goings of the race, the sophomore was able to work his way through the pack and provide as strong finish as the Lions' number one.
"I was meant to use the race as a kind of a workout and shake the rust off my legs," explained McNally. "The race turned out alright for me, it was a good effort and definitely got the rust out so I'm ready to go in two weeks (at the Notre Dame Invitational)."
Sophomore Chris Cipro (Harmony, Pa.) was the next Lion to cross the finish line, turning in a 22nd-place effort in 26:03. Sophomore Ryan Foster (Tasmania, Australia) was the third Penn State finisher, coming in 31st in 26:30. Samuel Borchers (Yellow Springs, Ohio) would take 37th overall as the Lions' number four, clocking 26:47.84, while Matt Groves (State College, Pa.) took 39th overall to finish off the Lion top five, running 26:50.
Princeton won the men's competition with a 29-point total, followed by St. Joseph's with 38. Pittsburgh came in third with 84 points, just ahead of the Lions' in fourth with 87.
The Nittany Lions will be off next weekend, before heading to the Notre Dame Invitational on South Bend, Ind., on Oct. 2.