JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 4, 2004) - In their first meet of the 2004 season, the East Tennessee State women's cross-country team finished fifth while the men's team placed seventh at the Festival in the Fields, hosted by Virginia Tech Saturday morning in Blacksburg, Va.
Junior Peter Dalton (Dublin, Ireland) had an impressive performance for the Bucs in the men's 6K race, leading ETSU with a third-place finish in a time of 19:40.73. Josh McDougal of Liberty won the event with a time of 18:55.91.
"Peter had a very solid run today, he has really improved from last year" said ETSU head cross-country coach Dave Walker. "I am very pleased with the leadership he has shown so far."
Freshman Jordan Ladd (Lyn, Ontario) finished 27th with a time of 20:44.25 while junior Joshua Hicks (Riceville, Tenn.) finished 29th and a time of 20:46.84.
"I feel good about the way our top three performed well today," said Walker. "Unfortunately, the others in our group did not perform to our expectations. From a team perspective we did not run as well as we needed to in the back of our group to break into the top half of the meet."
In the women's 4K race, senior Jennifer Habbestad (Tampa, Fla.) was the first Buccaneer to cross the finish line in 16:15.69, for a 25th place finish. Junior Christine Ward (Candler, N.C.) finished 27th with a time of 16:26.51 while senior Tiffany Collier (Atlanta, Ga.) took 35th place and sophomore Maggie Hunter (Roanoke, Va.) finished 39th.
"I am just delighted for Jenny (Habbestad)," assistant cross-country coach Michelle Byrne commented following the meet. "She has really made a commitment and it is starting to pay off. Christine (Ward) had a little bit of an off day, but she worked through it."
Trish Nervo (unattached) won the women's race in 14:45.76.
"We are pleased, it was a good, solid run for our team to begin the season," said Byrne. "It gives us an idea of what our strengths are and what we need to work on."
East Tennessee State cross-country returns to action on Sept. 18 as both the men's and women's teams compete in the Lou Onesty Invitational, hosted by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.
Men's Results: Virginia Tech Festival in the Fields
3. Peter Dalton, 19:40.73
27. Jordan Ladd, 20:44.25
29. Joshua Hicks, 20:46.84
68. Josh Gibson, 22:33.71
73. Graham Foster, 23:55.59
77. Towett Benard, 24:50.21
Women's Results: Virginia Tech Festival in the Fields
25. Jennifer Habbestad, 16:15.69
27. Christine Ward, 16:26.51
35. Tiffany Collier, 16:57.12
39. Maggie Hunter, 17:02.38
49. Tatiana Arriaran, 17:42.52
53. MacKenzie LaBonte, 18:01.74