ETSU prepares for competition at Spartan Invitational
Lisa Pallotta (left), Adam Chase (right)
ETSU prepares for competition at Spartan Invitational
Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bucs aim to get acclimated to same course that will be used for SoCon Championships

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 25, 2014) – The ETSU cross country program will be back in action in consecutive weeks for the first time this season when it competes on Friday in the UNC Greensboro Spartan Invitational at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex.

“I know the teams are looking forward to their races tomorrow,” said ETSU Director of Cross Country George Watts. “We had a fairly demanding workout on Tuesday and I was pleased with the results.”

Action will get underway with the men’s 8K at 5 p.m., followed by the women launching in a 5K at 5:45.

The course at Ivey Redmon is the same which will be used for the Southern Conference Championships on Friday, Oct. 31.

“The most important aspect of the race is the opportunity to race on the conference championship course,” said Watts. “It could make a huge difference for us five weeks from now.”

This appearance at the Spartan Invitational will be ETSU’s first competition in the Greensboro area since 2005.

The Bucs will look to build off of strong performances from last week at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational in Blacksburg, Va. where the men finished third overall while the women placed fifth in a field of competition that featured multiple nationally-ranked squads.

Competing at less than full strength last week due to injuries, the Bucs had a few underclassmen step up to pace them in the race. Sophomore Matt Warriner (Maryville, Tenn.) led the pack for the Blue & Gold with a tenth-place overall time of 25:17.80. Less than a tenth of a second behind Warriner, fellow sophomore Simeon Roberts (Greeneville, Tenn.) finished in 11th with a 25:18.00 time.

An average team time of 25:27.30 in the 8K allowed the Blue and Gold to finish third overall behind nationally-ranked teams Florida State (No. 25) and North Carolina (No. 19) who finished first and second, respectively.

On the women’s side, a young ETSU squad squared off against a pair of nationally-ranked foes. Per usual, the Bucs were led by veteran Katie Hirko (Oley, Pa.) who placed 10th overall with a 21:43.90 time.

With an average team time of 23:08.24 in the 6K, the Blue & Gold placed fifth out of seven teams.

Following these solid showings, Warriner and Hirko were recently named SoCon Runners of the Week.

“I like the team chemistry we have going,” said Watts, “and each week continues to raise the expectations for both teams.”

Stay tuned to on Friday evening for a recap and results from the Spartan Invitational.

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