Deren top collegian, men's cross country fifth at Blue Ridge Open
Deren top collegian, men's cross country fifth at Blue Ridge Open
Friday, October 13, 2006

BOONE, N.C. (Oct. 13, 2006) - Sophomore Michael Deren (Blasdell, N.Y.) ran a spectacular race for the ETSU men's cross country squad, finishing as the top collegiate runner and leading the Bucs to a fifth place finish at the Blue Ridge Open hosted by Appalachian State University Friday afternoon.


Deren completed the 8,000 meter course in 24:53.1, becoming not only the first Buccaneer to cross the finish, but also the first collegian.  He finished in fifth place in the 140-runner field, trailing just four runners from ZapFitness.


"Michael ran the best race of his college career to day," said head coach Dave Walker.  "This was a real coming-of-age race for Michael, finishing with a sub-25 minute time while running with a group of post-collegians is a great result for him."


Sophomore Jeff Crane (Taylors, S.C.) and freshman Kenneth Rotich (Sotik, Kenya) were the second and third Bucs to finish, crossing the line in 26:12.3 (30th place) and 26:21.9 (32nd), respectively.  Junior Jordan Ladd (Lyn, Ontario) and sophomore J Penny (Telford, Tenn.), competing in their first race of the season, finished 47th and 73rd, respectively, rounding out the ETSU effort.  Ladd completed the course in 26:40.3, while Penny ended in 27:36.4.


On the women's side, Victoria Currie (Dumfries, Scotland) led the way, finishing the 5,000 meter course in 50th place with a 20:15.2 time.  Valerie Boothby (Glen Gardner, N.J.) and Christian Zink (Herndon, Va.) were the second and third Lady Bucs to finish, with Boothby's 20:37.6 time good for 61st, and Zink coming in 85th at 21:44.1.  Anna Scalf (Piney Flats, Tenn.) completed the Lady Bucs effort in 110th position with a time of 24:02.7.


"The ladies are struggling right now," said coach Michelle Byrne.  "We're training well, but it's just not carrying over to our races.  We have two weeks to fine tune things now, and get ready for the A-Sun Championships."


Both cross country squads take the next 15 days off now, and will return to action October 28 in Boiling Springs, N.C. at the Atlantic Sun Conference Championships.