After carrying Duke to a second-place finish at the Adidas Cross Country Invitational, freshmen Michaela Reinhart and Amanda Beach quickly found themselves in a hole. 

After one mile on the six-kilometer track, Reinhart was a distant 74th and Beach 82nd. 

But a late surge helped them both place in the top-30 to push the Blue Devils to a seventh-place finish out of 42 teams at the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa., at Lehigh University Friday. Reinhart clocked in at 20:33 in 25th place, and Beach finished 28th just two seconds behind her. 

Beach and Reinhart had finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in their first big college meet two weeks ago.

Employing a team effort that saw the Blue Devils with just a 37-second gap between its leading runner and its fifth scoring runner, Duke scored 285 points, finishing roughly 200 behind champion No. 21 Utah State. 

“We’ve been working on running as a pack and they executed that today,” Blue Devil head coach Rhonda Riley told “We know that there is a lot of room to grow still in the season, but it’s very encouraging to see such a small spread.”

Two more underclassmen, sophomores Sophia Parvizi-Wayne and Lindsay Billings, finished third and fourth in scoring for Duke with times of 20:54 and 21:06, respectively. Junior Kim Hallowes was the final scorer for Duke with a 21:10 mark that put her in 91st place overall. 

The Blue Devils also had three runners outside their top seven compete at the Royals Challenge in Charlotte, led by junior Olivia Gwynn, who finished with a time of 17:56 on the five-kilometer course.

The team will look to build on its success heading into the Pre Nationals Oct. 14 in Louisville, Ky.