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Degiovanni takes first at UMPI Invitational

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Valentine Degiovanni sparkled in her first collegiate meet with the University of Maine at Presque Isle Owls.

Degiovanni got off to an early lead at the Saturday, Sept. 1, UMPI Invitational and held on to win by a 38-second margin over teammate Irina Norkin.

Degiovanni, a freshman from Nice, France, finished in a time of 22 minutes and 36 seconds on the five-kilometer course. As a result of her showing, she was named both North Atlantic Conference Runner of the Week and Rookie of the Week.

Norkin, a freshman from Denmark, Maine, crossed the line in 23:14. Their performance, along with that of junior Emmy Churchill of Washburn, who was fourth in 25:28, led the Owls to the team win in a meet that also included Maine Maritime Academy and Thomas College.

UMPI scored 23 points, with MMA coming in with 33. Thomas did not field a complete team so did not figure in the team results.

The Owls’ Kendra Silvers, a sophomore from North Berwick, was seventh overall in 27:50. Chenoa Jackson, a senior from Wilton, rounded out the team’s scoring by taking ninth and Ashley Morton, a sophomore from Castle Hill, was just behind her in 10th.

The men’s team was paced by Nino Manzella, a sophomore from Queensbury, New York, whose time in the 6K was 23:31. He took sixth place overall. Teammate Kyle Davis, a sophomore from South Addison, was second for UMPI and ninth overall with his time of 24:27. Andrew Hunt, a senior from Peterborough, New Hampshire, came in 10th in 25:18.

Jarrod Ottman of Thomas was the individual champion in 20:36. MMA scored a meet-low 28 points, with Thomas (40) and the Owls (53) following.

“We call this race a ‘rust buster.’ It is low key and just a chance to see where everyone is,” said UMPI coach Christopher Smith. “This was a strong early-season showing and it will set training as we prepare for subsequent races.”

Next up is MMA Mariner Invitational at noon Saturday, Sept. 8. The meet will serve as an opportunity to preview the course for the NAC Championships, which are set for Oct. 28.

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