HANOVER, N.H. – The last time the Dartmouth women’s cross country team stepped up to the starting line will be 21 days in the past by the time Saturday morning at 11:45 a.m. rolls around.

That’s when the Big Green will begin the Women’s College Gold 6K Race at the 2013 Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa.

Opening the season at home with the Dartmouth Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 14, the team has been dormant from competition since, running only in practice against one another.

That will come to an end when they take to the line against 47 other teams from around the country. Programs like Alabama, Wake Forest, Indiana and Iona will go up against not only Dartmouth, but other Ivy League student-athletes from Brown, Cornell, Harvard, Penn and Yale.

Leading the way for the Green and White should come as no surprise to anyone as senior Abbey D'Agostino will be a part of Saturday’s field. Last year’s winner of the Paul Short by an astonishing 24 seconds is back in top form after dominating the field in Hanover three weeks ago by 51 seconds.

D’Agostino bested 359 other runners during the 2012 Paul Shot, crossing the line in 19:58 and blowing away the competition in an effortless display of athletic prowess against some of the top runners in the nation.

After D’Agostino, sophomores Christie Rutledge and Dana Giordano should be in the next wave of runners after claiming 22nd and 24th, respectively, last year.

Should the Big Green be in position at the end of the year where they are battling to earn one of the at-large bids to the NCAA Championship Meet they will need strong team showings against programs from outside their region, an opportunity the Paul Short Invitational will afford them this weekend.

In addition to the Gold Race, there will also be Brown and White Races that also boast 48 teams apiece. High school varsity and junior varsity teams will take to the course in the afternoon, giving spectators an entire day of cross country action of varying distances and skill levels.