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RU Women Place Fourth, Men Ninth at Lafayette Invite
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EASTON, PA -- The Rutgers cross country teams competed in the Lafayette Invitational today, with the women placing fourth and the men placing ninth.

The women’s team finished in fourth-place out of a 12-team field. The first scorer for RU was sophomore Belmax DeJesus (Fort Lee, NJ), who has consistently been the first or second finisher for the team in each meet this season. DeJesus finished with a time of 21:27 for 14th place.

Senior Kathryn Tappen (Morristown, NJ) finished second for the team in 26th place overall with a time of 22:02. Sophomore Amonica Phipps (Amherst, VA) finished in 32nd place with a time of 22:17.26, with junior Amina Zhony (Maplewood, NJ) following close behind in 34th place with a time of 22:18. Senior Julie Clifford (Tenafly, NJ) rounded out the top RU scorers with a time of 22:41.21 for 44th place.

The Scarlet Knights were competing without Julie Culley (Lebanon, NJ), the team’s top scorer this season, who was in Terre Haute, IN racing in the Pre-Nationals. Culley finished first out of 236 people to win the individual race.

“We were missing three of our top six runners and we placed fourth,” said assistant coach James Robinson. “Even though it was windy and drizzling, most of the team had personal records. They were mentally tough.”

“They ran very well and did a great job competing,” said Robinson. “We have two weeks to prepare for BIG EAST and the whole team is excited for it.”

The Rutgers men’s team finished in ninth-place out of a 12-team field. The first scorer for RU was junior Brian Stanziano (Barnegat, NJ) in 31st place with a time of 26:39.

The next scorer for RU was senior Will Webekind (Newfield, NJ), who had a time of 27:15.69 for 64th place. Senior Joe Pellegrino (Morganville, NJ) finished with a time of 27:26.50 for 78th place. Freshman Ryan Lavender (Neptune, NJ) finished in 84th place with a time of 27:40 and the Scarlet Knights’ top five was rounded out by freshman Ambar Patel (Lake Hiawatha, NJ) in 99th place with a time of 28:03.

Both teams will travel to Boston for the BIG EAST Championships on Friday, Nov. 1.

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