SKYHAWK WOMEN TRUMP TENNESSEE WITH MEN CLOSE BEHIND IN CROSS COUNTRY OPENER
September 3, 2016
Results: Men Women (Photos Courtesy of Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Martin women's cross country team swept in-state rival host Tennessee at the season-opening Tennessee Dual meet on Saturday morning at Cherokee Farms – serving as the first competitive meet held at the facility. The Skyhawk women dominated the Volunteers 18-41, while the Skyhawk men - led by individual winner Edwin Kurgat – battled but ultimately finishing second to the home team 27-29.
Senior Ann Asipan led the way for the women, finishing first out of 16 runners while covering the course in a time of 18:00. Asipan, a 2015 All-Region top-10 finisher, was followed by the freshmen duo of Kara Martin who finished second (18:15) and Emma Edmonds who placed third (18:27). Sophomore Cherie Wilson was fourth (18:40) to complete the 1-4 sweep. Junior Amelia Martin rounded out the Skyhawks scoring five with an eight-place finish (19:04).
Freshmen Nelly Kandie (ninth), sophomore Chantal Wilson (10th), freshman Sydney Larkin (11th) and freshman Agok Ayuen (12th) also competed for the Skyhawks at the meet. Rounding out the effort was Kiana Hope (14th) and Natalie Motor (15th).
The Skyhawk women are ranked sixth in the Ohio Valley Conference annual preseason poll. The ranking serves as the highest preseason position ever for the squad.
On the men’s side Kurgat won the men's race, defeating a 20-man field with a time of 20:57. Freshman Austin Rogers was not far behind in fourth place with a time of 21:20. Freshmen Ryan Ford (fifth, 21:23) and Leonel Perez (eighth, 21:42) along with newcomer Marcos Macias (11th, 22:24) rounded out the Skyhawk top-five in the race. Freshman Joey Palumbo (13th) and senior Joey DeSantis (14th) also competed for the Skyhawks at the meet.
The Skyhawk men are ranked ninth in the OVC preseason poll and will look to climb the rankings as the season progresses. The Volunteer men are currently ranked ninth in the NCAA South Region.
UT Martin’s cross country teams will return to competition at the Commodore Classic, hosted by Vanderbilt on Sept 17th. The men’s 8,000 meter race starts at 9 a.m., while the women’s 5,000 meter competition begins at 10 a.m. on the famed “Steeplechase Course” in Percy Warner Park.