Cross Country Teams Run Well At Conference USA Championship
Nov. 1, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Entering the 2008 Conference USA Cross Country Championship, both of East Carolina's squads wanted to improve on their finishes from last year's meet; consider it mission accomplished. Both teams jumped two spots from last year with the men finishing in fifth-place this year while the women moved up to sixth-place. For the men, it is the team's highest finish since the 2004 meet when that squad also came in fifth. The women enjoyed the program's highest place since coming in fifth in 2001.
Individually, it was the same performers at the top as Zack Montijo finished first for the men and sophomore Brittany Copeland paced the women. Montijo came in 13th overall with a time of 25:14, earning him Second-Team All-Conference USA honors, the first for a men's team runner since 2004. His honors did not stop there, as he was also named the Conference USA Freshman-of-the-Year, a first for the Pirate program. The 13th-place finish is also the highest for any Pirate at the C-USA Championship since Jessica Collins came in 12th in 2005.
Junior Andrew Nastasiak came in second for the Pirates for the fourth time this season, as he completed the race in a 26:12, good for a 24th-place finish, five places and nearly a full minute and a half better than his 2007 run at the C-USA Championship. Senior Drew Jenkins (26:54/32nd), Shaffey Singh (27:36/44th), Michael Scott (27:40/45th) and Nick Boerio (28:31/47th) rounded out the rest of the ECU top-50 finishers. Freshman Alex Prevost just missed the top-50, as his time of 29:07 was good for 55th-place. The times by Jenkins, Singh, Scott and Boerio were all personal-bests.
On the women's side, Copeland checked in 14th overall with a career-best time of 17:45, three places and just over a minute, better than her C-USA performance of a year ago. By placing 14th, Copeland also earned Second-Team All-Conference USA honors, the first for a women's team runner since 2005. It is the highest finish for a woman at the C-USA Championship since Collins' 2005 run.
For the second straight meet, junior Nicole Briggs (29th/18:32) and classmate Samantha Lichtner (38th/19:01) finished second and third on the team. The time was a personal-best for Briggs. Freshman Tara Wilson (45th/19:20) also turned in a top-50 time while senior Hollie Brooks (51st/19:47) was just outside.
The Pirates now prepare for the Southeast NCAA Regional Championship on Nov. 15. The meet will be hosted by Wake Forest University and at held Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, N.C.