October 1, 2016

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Tennessee at Martin’s cross country program took another major step forward on Saturday morning, competing with and at times, outmatching regionally ranked opponents at the Greater Louisville Classic at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.

The Skyhawks competed against 36 schools from across the country and Canada along with several opponents ranked in the Top-15 of the NCAA South Region. The day got started with the men’s 8k at 9:30 a.m. where freshman Edwin Kurgat posted yet another strong performance. After posting a near-record breaking time at the Commodore Classic, Kurgat followed that performance with a record-breaking time of 24:50 to shatter the previous mark held by Colin Johnson set in 2011 by over 11 seconds.

With Kurgat anchoring the Skyhawk field, the squad saw the freshman trio of Ryan Ford, Austin Rogers and Marcos Macias all post strong outings with new personal-records. Ford notched a PR with a time of 25:26 which ranks as the fourth fastest time in program history while Rogers was close behind with a finish of 25:41 for sixth fastest. Macias posted a time of 26:40 for a PR while Joey DeSantis rounded out the squad with a time of 26:43.

With the team’s performance, the unranked Skyhawk men defeated East Tennessee State which came into the meet ranked 15th in the South Region.

For the women it was also a familiar face who led the pack for the Skyhawks in senior standout Ann Asipan. The Iten, Kenya notched the second-fastest time in program history – second only to her school record set at the 2015 OVC Championships – with a time of 17:23. The race also marked the third consecutive time that Asipan has paced the Skyhawks this season.

Joining in the team scoring on the women’s side was the freshman duo of Emma Edmonds and Nelly Kandie who each posted new PRs. Edmonds posted a time of 18:28 while Kandie was close behind at 18:30. The pair of Kara Martin (18:46) and Amelia Martin (18:48) rounded out the squad.

With the team’s performance, the unranked Skyhawk women defeated UAB which came into the meet ranked 12th in the South Region.

“Both teams took a big step in the right direction today,” said UT Martin head coach Peter Dalton. “It’s always nice when school records and personal records are lowered. Most importantly, both teams outpaced regionally ranked opponents and that is an indication of the direction our program is going.”

UT Martin will return to the trails on Friday, Oct. 14 when the Skyhawks compete at the Crimson Classic hosted by Alabama.

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