Cross Country Runs In C-USA Championship
Oct. 31, 2009
THE WOODLANDS, Texas – The East Carolina men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Conference USA Championship Saturday morning at the Bear Branch Sportsfields. The men’s team placed sixth out of eight squads while the women finished seventh of 12.
Both units came in one place behind the finishes from the 2008 league meet, but one spot ahead of the 2007 places. For the second consecutive meet, freshman Dillon Hawley and sophomore Tara Wilson paced their respective teams.
UTEP’s men’s team edged Tulsa 31-32 in the closest race in C-USA history to win the championship. It was the Miners’ fourth title in the past five years. The Golden Hurricane’s senior John Beattie took his second consecutive individual title, finishing the 8K in 24:23.4. For the women, SMU repeated as the champion and UTEP freshman Risper Kimaiyo came in first individually with a time of 17:46.3 in the 5K.
For East Carolina, as he has in each meet but the first of the season, Hawley led the men, completing the race in 25:34.0. His performance placed him 15th overall out of 60 runners. Hawley missed out on making an all-conference team by one place, as the top 14 runners earn C-USA distinction.
Classmate Grant Burress was the next men’s finisher, as he came in 25th with a personal-best time of 26:20.5. Last season’s C-USA Freshman-of-the-Year Zack Montijo checked in third on the squad and 34th overall, completing the event in 26:45.5.
Senior Jarrett Newby came in two spots behind Montijo with a career-best time of 26:51.7. Redshirt sophomore Antoine Berlin rounded out ECU’s top-40 performances, as he finished in 26:56.6, good for 38th.
On the women’s side, Wilson led the way with a 19:23.3 time, placing her 23rd overall. Wilson made a 22-place jump from last season’s league meet to this year’s, as she came in 45th as a freshman.
Sophomore Amanda Lapp was ECU’s next finisher, completing the race in 19:50.8, good for 35th. Lapp also made large strides from her finish a season ago, as she checked in 60th in 2008. Senior Samantha Lichtner also turned in a top-40 performance, as she came in 39th with a time of 19:55.4.
Freshman Stacey Gonzalez barely missed out on a top-40 finish, as she turned in a time of 20:01.2, placing her 42nd. Classmate Brooke Kott completed the final sub-21 minute performance for the Pirates, as she came in 57th with a time of 20:37.3.
The Pirates’ last meet of the season will be the Nov. 14 NCAA Southeast Regional at Tanglewood Park in Winston-Salem, N.C.