After racing in the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1977, the Hopkins men’s cross country team looked to build on the success of 2011 as they opened the 2012 campaign at the Baltimore Metro Invitational in Cockeysville, Md.
Against a relatively weak field, the Blue Jays made sure they would not be undone by complacency. Instead, junior Max Robinson led the way with a first place finish of 15:50 to pace the Blue Jays to 15-point first place finish.
Robinson was followed by 16 other Blue Jay runners as Hopkins dominated the race with 22 runners in the top 25. The complete team effort helped Hopkins earn a resounding victory against the field of Hood College, McDaniel College, and Coppin State University.
With yet another win in 2012, Hopkins has now taken the Baltimore Metro Invitational crown for nine straight years.
Despite the easy season opener, the Blue Jays know stiffer competition will come in the weeks leading up to the Centennial Conference and NCAA Championships. However, led by head coach Bobby Van Allen and returning top runners such as Robinson and sophomores Austin Stecklair and Julian Saliani, Hopkins will certainly be up for the challenge.
On the women’s side, the Lady Jays also entered 2012 with a head of steam as the team finished first in the 2011 Centennial Conference and 14th in the 2011 NCAA Championships.
Returning top runners in sophomore Hannah Eckstein and junior Holly Clarke, the women’s cross country team would not be outdone by the men. Against a field including local rival Towson University, the seventh ranked Blue Jays took the top four spots in the race and 14 of the top 18 spots.
Freshman Hannah Oneda, a Maryland native, made an impressive collegiate debut as she finished first with a time of 18:19. Behind her were juniors Holly Clarke and Lara Shegoski and fellow freshman Sophia Meehan.
As a team, the Lady Jays finished in first with 17 points, beating out Towson, Goucher College, Hood, McDaniel, and Coppin State.
Although the season is young, the team has only four more meets before the Centennial Conference Championships in late October, so every meet counts. Next up for the Jays, both the men and the women head to nearby Annapolis, Md. to race in the Salty Dog Invitational this coming Saturday. The last time Hopkins raced in the Salty Dog was in 2010.