Boiling Springs, N.C. (Oct. 28, 2006) - The ETSU men's cross country team finished third at the A-Sun Cross Country Championships, which was held Saturday in Boiling Springs, N.C. The Bucs finished with 96 points, behind Kennesaw (79 points) and Belmont (21 points).
The Bucs were led by sophomore's Michael Deren (Blasdell, N.Y.) and Jeff Crane (Taylors, S.C.), as Deren completed the 8,000 meter course in ninth with a time of 26:45. Crane finished three spots behind Deren with a mark of 26:59. Deren has led the Bucs across the finish line in five consecutive meets this season.
The top three runners on the men's side were only split apart by four seconds, as Belmont's Colin Magut and Ryan Snellen finished one-two, completing the course in 25:48 and 25:50. Scott Burley of Kennesaw State finished third as he ran the course in 25 minutes and 52 seconds.
Junior Jordan Ladd (Lyn, Ontario) completed the rough and rugged course in 15th with a time of 27:06, marking his best finish of the season. J Penny (Telford, Tenn.) who raced in just his second meet this season finished in 25th. Senior Josh Hicks (Riceville, Tenn.) and sophomore David McDaniel (Elizabethton, Tenn.) rounded out the race for the Bucs in 35th and 44th place. Hicks completed the course in 28:21 and McDaniel finished in 28:56.
Two ETSU runners received A-Sun honors during the post-race awards ceremony. Deren was named to the all-conference team after his successful season, and Penny received an all-freshmen team nod after his top-25 finish on Saturday.
"The men picked up their pace down the stretch, but it was too little too late," said head coach David Walker. "Our guys know in order to get to the top next year we need to train and practice harder."
The Lady Bucs finished the 5,000 meter course in ninth place with 244 points. Belmont took top honors with 46 points, followed by North Florida (60 points) and Kennesaw State (95 points).
Freshman Victoria Currie (Dumfries, Scotland) was the first Buccaneer runner to cross the line in 30th place with a time of 20:37. Following Currie was freshman Valerie Boothby (Glen Gardner, N.J.) in 47th, completing the course in 21:13. Sophomore Allie Frazier (Knoxville, Tenn.) and junior Ali Carney (Sevierville, Tenn.) finished in the 56th and 57th slots, with times of 22:06 and 22:11.
"It was a disappointing race for us, because we finished the regular season eighth and we wanted to finish higher than that today at the championships," said coach Michelle Byrne.
Alicia Valtin (Campbell) won her second consecutive A-Sun Cross Country Championship, along with her second straight Runner of the Year award, as she finished the course in 17:58, 44 seconds better than the second-place finisher. Finishing in second and third was Lauren Williams (Belmont) and Sarah Coghlan (North Florida.).
The Bucs will not compete now until Nov. 11, when they travel to Knoxville, Tenn. for the NCAA South Regional.