CHICOPEE, Mass. - The University of Saint Joseph cross country team was victorious at the Elms College Blazer Invitational held at Chicopee Memorial State Park on Saturday. The team finished first out of nine teams to earn the victory placing all five runners in the top-25, including senior Kaneen Gomez-Hixson (Wethersfield, CT/Singapore American School) who earned medalist honors topping the entire field for her second victory of the 2016 season.
Gomez-Hixson now has a pair of first place finishes and a runner-up performance through the first four weekends of the 2016 cross country circuit. She adds her second victory of the season to her resume after pacing a field of 79 runners at the Blazer Invitational on Saturday. The senior broke the tape with a blistering time of 23:42, one and a half minutes faster than the second place finisher, to claim the victory.
Sophomore Mia Tompkins (Meriden, CT/Mercy) turned in a spectacular performance and registered her first top-five finish of the season. She finished fourth overall after sprinting accross the finish line at the 25:47 mark.
Junior Mary Anderson (Granby, CT/Westminister) crossed the finish line third for the Blue Jays. She recorded a 17th place individual finish with a final time of 27:51.
Sophomore Madison Boyce (East Hampton, CT/East Hampton) and senior Alyssa Vereneau (Newington, CT/Newington) rounded out the five scoring runners for USJ in the victory. The duo finished 20th and 21st, respectively with times of 28:24 and 28:39.
Freshman Kristina Petit (Plainville, CT/Plainville) and junior Paulina Koloda (Jaroslaw, Poland/Torrington) also competed in the race for the Blue Jays on Saturday. Petit finished 25th with a time of 29:34 and Koloda placed 41st with a time of 31:43.
USJ posted a team score of 63 points to earn the victory and edge out Johnson & Wales who finished second with 65 points. Western new England was third with 68 points followed by Lesley (72) and Hampshire (112) to round out the top-five.
The USJ cross country team will return to action next when they host the Blue Jay Invitational next Saturday, Oct. 1 on the campus of the University of Saint Joseph. Come out and support the Blue Jays as the meet is slated to begin at 10 a.m.