NORTHAMPTON, Mass. - Powered by a number of strong finishes, the Lyons cross country team kicked off their 2016 campaign on Saturday at the Smith Invitational. MHC was led in this year's 5k event by sophomore Veneta Cholakova, who finished 21st overall in the field of 97 runners.
Cholakova (Yambol, Bulgaria/Atanas Radev Math HS) paced the Lyons' field with a time of 21:58.51. She was followed closely across the line by first year Brigit Wolf and junior Sunny Shan (Cupertino, Calif./Monta Vista). Wolf posted a time of 22:05.26 for 24th overall, while Shan notched a 22:07.87, good for 25th.
First year Emma Raney (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) was next across for MHC, posting a time of 23:03.20 for 54th on the afternoon. Junior Kelly Stevens (Southboro, Mass./Worcester Academy) crossed 56th overall with a mark of 23:06.61, while classmate Mia Barnes (Thornville, Ohio/Monteverde Friends School) was 58th overall with a time of 23:10.66.
Rounding out the efforts for Mount Holyoke were first years Kayla Dillon (Great Barrington, Mass./Monument Memorial Regional) and Michelle Serrano (Los Angeles, Calif./West Adams Preparatory). Dillon finished 60th with a time of 23:14.64, while Serrano posted a time of 24:02.26.
Coast Guard captured the victory at this year's meet with a score of 43. The host Pioneers came in second overall with 89 points, followed by Franklin Pierce (96), Springfield (114), Clark (121) and St. Anselm (136).
Mount Holyoke returns to the course on Saturday when it competes at the 2016 UMass-Dartmouth Invitational. Action for the women's race is set to begin at 12pm.
Photo courtesy of RJB Sports Photography.