BLACKSBURG, Va. (Sept. 5, 2008) - The ETSU men's and women's cross country teams opened the 2008 season Friday evening, when they competed in the Virginia Tech Relays from the Tech Cross Country Course in Blacksburg.
The Buccaneers, who faced host Virginia Tech, Radford, Liberty and VCU, in a relay meet had the cousin duo Kenneth Rotich (Nairobi, Kenya) and Ben Ronoh (Sotik, Kenya) turn in a second-place performance. Both Rotich and Ronoh each ran two 4,000-meter legs, and finished behind Liberty's Mark Hopely and Sam Chelanga. The ETSU combo mounted a time of 49:12, whereas, Liberty's duo ended in 48:57.
ETSU's second men's team consisted of senior Michael Deren (Blasdell, N.Y.) and r-junior J Penny (Jonesborough, Tenn.). The squad ended the night in 11th (the eighth collegiate team to finish) after totaling a time of 51:58.
"Overall I am pleased with all four of their efforts tonight," commented head coach David Walker. "Both teams ran a tough race and hopefully they can build off this performance next weekend at Winthrop."
On the women's side, the twins of Terra and Tesha Haggard (Morristown, Tenn.) each ran a pair of 3,000-meter legs in the relay, and placed seventh out of 20 teams. The sophomore's posted an overall time of 48:33.
The second Buccaneer squad, which featured sophomore Rochelle Crook (Cookeville, Tenn.) and freshman Victoria Jones (Marshall, N.C.), ended the race in 14th.
"Our two groups of women ran solid and showed signs of improvement since our first day of practice," commented Walker. "Victoria looked strong in her collegiate debut, and this is a good starting point for all of the runners."
Prior to competing at Winthrop next Saturday, a handful of Buccaneer runners will compete Sunday afternoon at the Irish Brigade Commemorative 5K Run, in nearby Elizabethton. The race kicks off at 3 p.m.
For more information on ETSU cross country, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.