Maryland cross country delivered another strong performance in its second race of the season, finishing in 6th place at the Virginia Invitational.

After nearly two years of not competing, Maryland was able to build upon a successful season opener, and the Terps were once again led by their youthful roster in Earlysville, Virginia.

The 5K was highlighted by freshman Katie Altieri, who finished 16th with a time of 18:14.3, setting a new personal record in the process. The New Yorker led the way for Maryland for much of the race, just as she did in the first contest.

[Maryland cross country releases fall schedule]

Not far behind was senior Sarah Daniels, who finished in 19th place with a time of 18:26.7 in her season debut. One of the few seniors on the roster, Daniels and junior Samantha Facius were the only athletes with pre-pandemic collegiate racing experience to compete for Maryland on Friday.

Daniels’ last collegiate race prior to this season came during the Darius Dixon Memorial Invite in early 2020.

The pair gave Maryland 33 of their 142 points, good for a sixth place finish. Freshmen Katie Turk, Hannah Mack and Allison Colflesh also placed for the Terps.

[Several Maryland athletes soared at Big Ten track and field championships]

Facius and sophomore Kirstin Nichols also competed in the women’s 5K, helping Maryland place just outside the top five.

With just two official collegiate races under her belt now, Altieri said she is still taking it just a step at a time, a sentiment shared by many of her teammates and one reverberated by her coaching staff.

While they didn’t place as high as they did in the season opener, for an inexperienced Terps squad, the journey is perhaps just as important as the results.

“We have a lot to improve on, but we’re also still learning,” Altieri said.

This should be expected given the age of the Terps roster. The team traveled eight athletes for Friday’s race, half of whom are experiencing collegiate athletics for the first time.