Clark leads the way in season opener at Covered Bridge Open
Clark leads the way in season opener at Covered Bridge Open
Friday, August 31, 2012

BOONE, N.C. (Aug. 31, 2012) – The ETSU cross country teams opened the 2012 season with a strong showing Friday evening at the Covered Bridge Open, hosted by Appalachian State.

The ETSU women’s team finished in fourth-place overall (107) with the help of junior Chelsea Clark (Fairmont, W. Va.) and freshmen Katie Hirko (Oley, Pa.).  Clark crossed the finish line in 19:21.7, good for 13th and was quickly followed by newcomer Hirko with a time of 19:22.1. Senior Melissa Peters (Mesa, Ariz.) finished in 23rd, while freshmen duo Jessica Palmer ( Oak Ridge, Tenn.) and Lisa Pallota (Leesburg, Va.) rounded out the top-30 with 28th and 29th place finishes respectively.

First year head coach George Watts thought both teams ran very well for the first meet of the season.  “The women’s team is very young and will take a little longer to get comfortable running collegiately. Chelsea and Katie ran very nicely and the whole group is set to improve and continue to prepare for the conference meet and NCAA Regionals at the end of the season,” stated Coach Watts.

Florida State, who is ranked No. 4 in the nation, claimed the meet title with 38 points, including four runners finishing in the top-10.  Appalachian finished in second with 46 points while North Carolina finished in third.  New Atlantic Sun foe Northern Kentucky finished in fifth with 120 points.

On the men’s side, the Bucs took fifth-place led by sophomore Filip Jalovy (Modrice, Czech Republic) who finished 15th with a time of 26:02.1, but ran 36 seconds faster than last year’s opening meet.  Fellow sophomore Adam Chase (Kingsport, Tenn.) took 22nd with a mark of 26:16.5 and was quickly followed by senior Landon Milhorn (The Woodlands, Texas) who clocked a 26:17.6 time for 23rd-place.  Junior Anders Ludvigsen crossed the finish line in 24th-place while fellow junior Desmond Pierce rounded out the Bucs top-five in 29th-place.

“I am glad to see that the men are clearly ahead of pace than they were last year with the top-five running 28 seconds faster than last year’s Covered Bridge Open.  We will continue to gear our workouts to get us ready for the conference meet and the NCAA Regionals,” noted Coach Watts.

Tenth-ranked Florida State claimed first-place with 35 points followed by Appalachian in second (41), North Carolina in third (75) and Northern Kentucky in fourth with 104 points.

The Buccaneers will take a week off of competition and will return to action on Sept. 14 for the Virginia Tech Invitational.

 For more information regarding Buccaneer cross country, visit