Greenville, S.C. (Oct. 13, 2007) - The East Tennessee State men's cross country team claimed its second team title of the 2007 campaign Saturday, as the Buccaneers beat out 18 teams to take home the Furman Invitational crown from the Furman Golf Course in Greenville, S.C. The Bucs had three runners place in the top-10, including Kenneth Rotich (Nairobi, Kenya) who won the individual title.
As a team the Bucs finished with 40 points and blew away Charlotte (83 points) and Winthrop (91 points) for the crown. Rounding out the top-five was Marshall (105 points) and host Furman with 114 points.
"Our guys ran a great race on such a difficult course," added head ETSU men's cross country coach David Walker. "We had a strong regular season and now we need to carry this momentum into the conference meet and hope for another title. However, in order to accomplish our goal, we need to continue to practice hard and run solid in two weeks."
Rotich, the sophomore sensation, continued to remain on fire as he captured his second title in less than a month. Rotich beat out teammate Michael Deren (Blasdell, N.Y.) by 10-seconds for the individual title. The Nairobi native averaged a five minute thirteen second mile over the 8K course and finished with a mark of 25:55; while Deren averaged five minutes and fifteen seconds and crossed the line in 26:05. Junior Jeff Crane (Taylors, S.C.) also finished in the top-10, placing sixth overall with a time of 26:11.
Rounding out the scoring attack for ETSU were senior Jordan Ladd (Lyn, Ontario) and junior J Penny (Telford, Tenn.). Ladd posted a 13th-place finish, ending the race with in 26:51; while Penny finished 25th with a mark of 27:14.
The Buccaneers ended the regular season on a high note and will look to carry the momentum into the Atlantic Sun conference championships, which will be held two weeks from today in Nashville. Earlier this week ETSU chipped away at Belmont's top spot, by claiming three first-place votes on Tuesday. The men's cross country team will have to wait until Tuesday, Oct. 23 to see where they stand in the final regular season coach's poll.
On the women's side, sophomore Vicki Currie (Dumfries, Scotland) led the pack of Buccaneer runners across the finish line for the third consecutive meet. The Scottish sensation placed 50th overall and finished with a time of 19:52.
Freshmen twins Terra and Tesha Haggard (Morristown, Tenn.) were the second and third ETSU runners to finish the 5K run. Terra finished the race in 20:43 and sister Tesha was right behind her in 20:47. Sophomore Christin Zink (Herndon, Va.) and freshman Rochelle Crook (Cookeville, Tenn.) wrapped up the scoring attack for the Bucs.
ETSU finished 13th out of 19 teams; while Charlotte (60 points), Clemson (79 points) and Furman (84 points) rounded out the top-three.
"This was a huge meet and our girls ran solid," said assistant women's cross country coach Mandy Virgets. "It was a difficult course, but it prepared our girls well for the conference meet in two weeks. We have high hopes for when they run in Nashville."
The ETSU cross country team will now enjoy a two week break before competing in the Atlantic Sun conference championship. The meet will be held Vaughn's Creek Course in Nashville, with the women kicking off the race at 9 a.m. and the men follow at 10. Please visit www.ETSUBucs.com for more information on Buccaneer cross country and all other athletic news.