Cross country back in action Saturday in Louisville

Friday, October 04, 2013

ETSU looks to maintain the early-season momentum

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 4, 2013) – Following a week off from competition last week, the ETSU men’s and women’s cross country teams will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 5, in the 12th annual Greater Louisville Classic at the E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky.

The ETSU men will kick things off in a seeded 8,000-meter race at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, followed by the women in a 5,000-meter seeded race at 10:15 a.m.

“We look forward to a very competitive race this weekend at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic,” said ETSU Director of Track & Field/Cross Country George Watts. “We will have a mixture of several South Region foes and some very strong teams from other regions throughout the country.”

The Buccaneers will look to carry the momentum from their last meet into competition on Saturday. At the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational on Friday, Sept. 20, the cross country programs turned in a pair of top-two finishes in a smaller field of competition, with the men winning their meet and the women notching a runner-up finish.

In Blacksburg, the men were paced by junior Adam Chase (Kingsport, Tenn.) with a third overall finish and a time of 25:30.20 while the women were led by sophomore Katie Hirko (Oley, Pa.) who took first-place overall with a time of 21:32.90, a collegiate-best for her in a 6K.

Both the men’s and women’s teams have competed in the Greater Louisville Classic five out of the last six years. In the most recent competition last season, the ETSU men placed 18th out of 31 teams, while the women positioned 21st out of 43 squads.

In last year’s meet, Filip Jalovy (Modrice, Czech Republic) led the men’s squad with a time of 24:54.11 and a 67th-place finish, while Hirko led the way for the women with a fifth-place finish and a time of 17:57.80.

Familiarity with the course will work in the Bucs’ favor with five of the seven runners who competed for the men last year available to run on Saturday, while the women return four of the seven who competed in last season’s meet.

“We have completed our toughest two week training cycle of the season and I'm interested in seeing how the teams react in competition,” said Watts. “I'm extremely pleased with the team’s attitude and work ethic and feel we are heading in the right direction.”

The meet is hosted by the Louisville Sports Commission at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park. The park has previously been the site of the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships, the 2007 and 2011 BIG EAST Conference Championships, and the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships.

Stay tuned to on Saturday for a recap and results from the Greater Louisville Classic.

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