Both cross country teams look to build on stellar starts to the season
BLACKSBURG, Va. (Sept. 19, 2013) – After a successful start to the season last week at the Commodore Classic, the ETSU men’s and women’s cross country teams will try to keep the momentum going with a trip to Blacksburg, Va. to participate in the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational on Friday, Sept. 20, at the Virginia Tech Cross Country Course.
"Friday's meet presents a nice challenge for both teams," said ETSU Director of Track & Field/Cross Country George Watts. "It will be head-to-head type competition that you don't see very often."
The Virginia Tech Cross Country Course is a 3.1-mile course that sits on the Tech campus. The all-grass course provides an ideal surface for racing and training which guides runners through a rural terrain of meadows, cornfields and wooded locations typical of the Tech surroundings.
Competing first on Friday will be the women in a 6K run beginning at 6 p.m., followed by the men in an 8K race at 6:40 p.m.
Last week in the Commodore Classic at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tenn., the ETSU cross country program turned in a pair of top-10 finishes against a fairly large field of competition.
The men, who were picked ninth in the South Region in the preseason by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), showed well and were able to record a third-place finish in the 8K. The Buccaneers were only one point back of Mississippi State (112-111) in second place and within reaching distance of winner Lipscomb (112-95).
Pacing the men was sophomore Angus Baldwin (Tumbi Umbi, Australia) in 11th place overall with a time of 25:27.32. Baldwin was joined in the top-50 overall by each of his competing teammates, including two additional top-25 finishers in Adam Chase (Kingsport, Tenn.) at 17th overall with a time of 25:33.29 and Filip Jalovy (Modrice, Czech Republic) at 23rd overall with a mark of 25:37.78.
The Buccaneers enter this week’s competition ranked No. 10 in the South Region by the USTFCCCA.
Despite competing only five runners at the 5K Commodore Classic because of injuries, the ETSU women also registered a solid performance, finishing ninth out of 21 teams with a score of 288. The Bucs were led by last season’s Atlantic Sun Women’s Freshman Runner of the Year sophomore Katie Hirko (Oley, Pa.) who placed 24th overall with a time of 17:49.20. Hirko was joined in the top-50 by senior Chelsea Clark (Fairmont, W. Va.) with a 44th overall standing and a time of 18:26.37.
"Overall, I'm very pleased with our early-season workouts," said Watts, "and first-meet results."
Last season in the Virginia Tech Invitational, the ETSU men finished sixth out of nine teams overall while the women finished fourth out of nine teams overall.
Stay tuned to ETSUBucs.com on Friday evening for a recap and results from the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational.
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