Pirates Place Fourth, Sixth At C-USA Meet
Nov. 1, 2010
BROKEN ARROW, Okla. – The East Carolina men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Conference USA Championship Monday morning at the Indian Springs Country Club and turned in solid outings. The men’s team placed fifth out of eight squads while the women finished sixth of 12.
The Pirate men tied the 2004 and 2008 runners for the program’s best finish at the C-USA Championship. The women were one slot behind their best-ever place of fifth from the 2001 meet, and tied the 2008 squad for the second-best performance. Additionally, both units came in one place ahead of the finishes from the 2009 league meet.
Individually, junior Zack Montijo earned All-Conference USA Third-Team honors for the men while juniors Brittany Copeland (second team) and Tara Wilson (third team) received accolades for the women’s side. It was the first time in program history the women had two All-C-USA selections in the same season. The league honors for Montijo and Copeland were the second of their careers.
The men’s team had five of their seven runners set personal-best times and the women’s top-six finishers all turned in career-best performances. Two men had program top-20 times while Copeland and Wilson had the second and third-fastest 5Ks ever recorded by a Pirate.
Montijo led the men for the fourth time this season, completing the 8K in a career-best 24:36, good for 18th place overall. His time was also the seventh fastest in East Carolina history.
Sophomores Grant Burress and Dillon Hawley, along with junior Daniel Porter, claimed spots 24-26. Burress clocked in with a personal-best 25:07, nearly 40 seconds less than his previous top mark. The performance also earned him a spot on the Pirates’ top-20 list, tying with three other runners for 19th. Hawley crossed the finish line at 25:15 and Porter at 25:18, 26 seconds faster than his best 8K entering the day.
Not far behind was sophomore Cory Hampshire, who placed 28th overall with a time of 25:24. Freshman Chase Miller competed in his first Conference USA Championship and took 33rd, clocking in at a personal-best 25:35. Miller had not finished an 8K in under 26:30.32 before today’s event.
Rounding out the ECU men’s squad was sophomore Antonio Palmer, who cut more than a minute off his previous-best time by checking in at 26:16 to claim 39th overall.
On the women’s side, Copeland and Wilson finished first and second on the squad as they have in every meet they have run this season. Copeland completed the race in 17:28, the second-fastest mark in program history, for 14th place overall.
Wilson turned in her best-ever C-USA finish, claiming 16th by finishing in 17:33, good for third on the program’s all-time list. She lowered her career-best time by more than 30 seconds.
Classmate Amanda Lapp was ECU’s next finisher, timing in at 17:59, good for 30th. She broke into the top-20 list for the first time in her career, tying for 18th.
A pair of sophomores in Stacey Gonzalez and Brooke Kott completed the ECU contingent, claiming 62nd and 80th, respectively. Gonzalez turned in a career-best 19:01 while Kott crossed the finish line in 19:44.
Tulsa took home the men’s and women’s team titles. The dual titles are just the third in league history (Marquette/2003, USF/1998). With 34 points, the Golden Hurricane men won their second C-USA team crown in the last three years. UTEP was a close second with 42 points, followed by Rice in third with 87 points. The Miner’s Elkana Rotich, a sophomore, won the individual medalist merits with a championship-best time of 23:30.
The Golden Hurricane women won their first C-USA championship by scoring 27 points. Rice checked in second with 57 points and was followed by UTEP in third with 97. Miner sophomore Risper Kimaiyo repeated her individual medalist honors by clocking a best-ever championship time of 16:27. She became the third female in league history to win back-to-back titles.
The Pirates’ last meet of the season will be the Nov. 13 NCAA Southeast Regional at E. P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park in Louisville Ky.