BOONE, N.C. (Sept. 4, 2009) - It wasn't the way the ETSU men's cross country team envisioned opening the 2009 season after winning its 21st conference championship a year ago, as the Bucs finished fifth (out of six teams) on Friday evening at the Covered Bridge Open in Boone, N.C.; however, senior Kenneth Rotich (Nairobi, Kenya) picked up right where he left off in 2008.
Rotich, who guided the Bucs to the Atlantic Sun Championship in Macon, Ga. last season after claiming the individual title, posted a top-3 finish against a stacked field on the 6400m course at the Don Kennedy Trail. The reigning A-Sun Runner of the Year finished third overall - clocking a time of 19:54.
Overall, Florida State won the race by scoring 32 points, while Queens (50 points) and North Carolina (83 points) rounded out the top three spots. The Bucs recorded 109 points, with fourth-place and host Appalachian State scoring 89.
Other ETSU notables included junior Ben Ronoh's (Sotik, Kenya) 12th-place showing (20:27), while red-shirt senior J Penny (Jonesborough, Tenn.) finished a respectable 29th. Penny tallied a time of 21:02.
Michael Crouch from Queens won the individual race in 19:22.
The entire men's cross country team returns to action in two weeks (Sept. 18) when the Bucs compete at the 21st Annual Crimson Classic in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Meanwhile, selected members of the women's squad will race at the Irish Brigade Commemorative 5K on Sunday, Sept. 13 in Elizabethon.
For more information on Buccaneer cross country, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.