ETSU men place third, women fifth, at Covered Bridge Open
James Miller (left), Sean Duffy (right)
ETSU men place third, women fifth, at Covered Bridge Open
Friday, August 29, 2014

Both teams finish in top halves of fields of competition featuring 11 total teams each

BOONE, N.C. (Aug. 29, 2014) – The ETSU cross country program got the season started Friday at Don Kennedy Trails at State Farm Field with the men recording a third-place overall finish, while the women notched a fifth-place standing in the Covered Bridge Open hosted by Appalachian State University.

"We had a solid performance for our first meet in some tough conditions," said ETSU Director of Cross Country George Watts. "I know the kids are not happy with how they ran individually, but they will wake up tomorrow morning ready for the next run."

The ETSU women kicked off the 2014 campaign with a 5 p.m. start time against various teams from throughout the Southeast. Running five freshmen in its core of eight competitors, veteran Katie Hirko (Oley, Pa.) led the ETSU pack with a 12th-place finish – out of 94 participants – with a 19:19.72 time in the 5K. The junior was trailed in the standings by teammate Macy Carrier (Bluff City, Tenn.) in 31st with a time of 20:16.82.

Three additional Buccaneers finished among the top-50 with Victoria Hutchens (Stuart, Va.) placing 40th with a 20:45.94 time, while Lisa Pallotta (Leesburg, Va.) and Sarah Zimmer followed in 42nd and 48th with 20:47.95 and 21:06.27 times, respectively.

A trio of first-year ETSU runners trailed in the standings with Alexa Zimmerman (Kingsport, Tenn.) in 64th, Brianna Goble (Stony Point, N.C.) in 74th and Hannah Warren (Waynesville, N.C.) in 89th.

An average time of 20:27.34 slotted the women into fifth overall out of 11 teams. Wake Forest took home the meet crown with an average time of 18:57.74

"Our women had a slightly rougher go at it but they ran tough and as a younger team, it will take them a little longer to come around," said Watts. "We will begin a new phase of training and they will be much sharper going into our next competition."

The ETSU men followed in competition with a 5:45 p.m. launch time featuring a veteran-heavy group of three seniors and one junior in its faction of nine runners. Senior Adam Chase (Kingsport, Tenn.) led the way for the Bucs with a seventh-place finish – out of 93 runners – with a 21:09.78 time in the 6400-meter run. A Blue & Gold duo also managed to sneak into the top-20 standings with Sean Duffy (Jonesborough, Tenn.) placing 16th with a time of 21:24.53, while Simeon Roberts (Greeneville, Tenn.) nipped at his teammate’s heels with a 17th-place finish with a 21:25.34 time.

Angus Baldwin (Tumbi Umbi, Australia) followed in the standings in 27th with a 21:46.70 time, while Dan Sonnenfeldt (Knoxville, Tenn.) rounded out the top 30 with a time of 21:49.53. Senior James Miller (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) raced to a 41st overall placement with a 22:05.93 time, while Chase Mussard (Cookeville, Tenn.) followed in 47th with a time of 22:21.46.

In addition, a couple frosh got their first taste of collegiate racing with Carl Oberfeitinger placing 52nd with a 22:40.78 time and Haydn Borghetti-Metz (Rogersville, Tenn.) finishing with a time of 22:46.47.

The men’s average time of 21:31.18 allowed them to finish third overall out of 11 squads. Once again, Wake Forest finished first overall, this time with a 21:03.13 average time.

"The men had a decent five-man spread," said Watts, "and we will be much better once we get our injured people back in the mix."

The ETSU cross country will be back in action on Friday, Sept. 19, at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational at the Buford Meredith Cross Country Course in Blacksburg, Va.

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