Cross Country Continues Successful Season At Furman Invitational
Oct. 15, 2007
GREENVILLE, S.C. - The East Carolina cross country teams put in another strong showing at the Furman Invitational on Saturday as the women finished fourth of 19 teams while the men turned in a 10th-place result. Freshman Brittany Copeland continued her stellar rookie campaign, notching a fifth-place finish with a time of 18:25, her second-best of the season.
"The teams both ran well this weekend, said head coach Dan Lee. "The women placed 4th (an improvement over last years 7th place finish). The top 5 averaged almost a minute faster than last year. Brittany ran hard from the front to finish 5th overall. She ran well but was tired from overdoing a hard workout in the middle of the week."
Sophomore Nicole Briggs finished just behind her freshman teammate in seventh with a time of 18:27. "It's hard to say that Nicole Briggs rebounded from a `sub-par' Pirates Invitational race since she set a personal best for 5000m there, Lee stated. "She really ran well here at Furman."
The men also ran well, led by junior Matt Dennish, who finished 38th with a time of 27:30. "The men's squad is so different from last year you could almost say we started from scratch," Lee said. "The only returning runner from last years squad that has cracked our top 7 is Andrew Nastasiak. The rest of our top seven is made up of new runners or track athletes that are making their first jump into a `real' college cross country season."
Other notable performances included Nastasiak's 47th-place result (27:45) and Jarrett Newby's 52nd-place finish (27:51).
"Andrew ran the same time as our number one from last year," Lee continued. "He actually ran much better though, the entire men's race took a wrong turn and lengthened the course by 45+ seconds. Had Andrew run the course that has been run for the last 34 years, he would have likely run under 27 minutes. If you take into account the added distance due to the wrong turn, the top five men probably averaged about 30 seconds faster than last year."
East Carolina will take this week to prepare for the Conference USA Championship Meet in Santa Teresa, NM on October 27.
"It was a really good day for both squads," Lee finished. "I'm looking forward to seeing if the team can keep it up moving towards the Conference-USA Championships."