HANOVER, N.H. - In the annual season-opening Dartmouth Invitational, junior Abbey D'Agostino (Topsfield, Mass.) proved once again that there are few cross country runners in the nation that can keep up with her.
D'Agostino led the Big Green women's team up against some of the top competition in the country Saturday morning as Syracuse, UConn, Middlebury and defending national champion Georgetown all made the trip to the Hanover Country Club.
But, even with that high level of talent on display, the day belonged to the the junior harrier as she ran away from the field in the final three kilometers of the race to take the top spot by more than 35 seconds over the second-place finisher from UConn. D'Agostino posted an impressive time of 20:48.0 on the newly-designed 6K course on the local links to defend her title at this meet from a year ago.
The Big Green used their top runner's strong finish to earn 57 points to place second to the Hoyas' 33.
In just her first collegiate meet, freshman Christie Rutledge (Manlius, N.Y.) was the second runner in the Green and White to cross the line, doing so in 21:42.10 to earn eighth place overall.
Fellow freshman Dana Giordano (Bernardsville, N.J.) also ran well in her first race with the Big Green, placing 12th in 22:07.60.
Junior Hannah Rowe (St. Johnsbury, Vt.) was just back of her two first-year teammates, earning a 14th-place finish as she crossed the finish line in 22:10.
Sophomore Samantha Harmon was the final Dartmouth runner to score points as her 23rd-place finish overall in 22:35.60 earned 22 points towards the Dartmouth total.
The team standings saw Georgetown's 33 points take the top spot, followed by the Big Green's 57 and Syracuse's 67. UConn (78) and Middlebury (154) rounded out the field.
Dartmouth will now have nearly three weeks of rest and preparation time before it takes to the course again as it next runs at Lehigh's Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa., on Friday, September 28.