UT Martin cross country squads compete at OVC Championships
Posted: Thursday, November 6, 2008 12:53 pm
Freshman Lucas Massey led the men’s team with a time of 26:53 and a 17th place finish, which is believed to be the highest finish ever by a Skyhawk men’s runner in program history. Sophomore Allen Thurman was the second Skyhawk to cross the finish line, completing the 8k in 28:53. Junior Tyler Robertson finished with a time of 29:55, while senior Paul Thames put up a time of 30:09. Senior Alfredo Krywacz rounded out the scorers for UT Martin with a time of 31:28, while sophomore Cannon Smalley (32:17) and freshman Cody Lemmons (32:29) also ran for the Skyhawks.
“After the first uphill mile, I was in good position after a conservative start,” Massey said. “However, the constant turns and hills were beating up my legs. I picked up 20 runners in the next two miles, but at three miles I was just trying to hold my position until the five-mile finish. It was easily my best race of the year.”
UT Martin head coach Gordon Sanders was pleased with Massey’s consistency throughout the race.
“Lucas ran his toughest and smartest race to be three places from All-OVC honors,” Sanders said. “He can strongly improve on that in the next three years.”
On the women’s side, it was junior Shannon Wall who led the pack, with her time of 20:27. Sophomore Allie Proctor’s time of 20:40 was the next best finish for the Skyhawks, followed by senior Sarah Jenkins’ time of 21:15. Freshman Jenna Nick completed the course in 21:38, and fellow freshman Kaitlin Saunders finished the scoring with a time of 21:43. Juniors Lori Taylor (21:49) and Andrea Lindley (22:21) also competed for UT Martin.
Sanders’ young teams held their own in the OVC Championships, and provide UT Martin with a bright future.
“The men were spread far and wide as a team,” Sanders said. “That will be a priority fix in the future. The ladies ran closer as a team, and the two scoring freshmen — Jenna Nick and Kaitlin Saunders — finished the season well on beginner’s mileage, indicating they will improve by larger jumps in the future.”
Massey, Wall and Proctor will continue their seasons on Nov. 15 at the NCAA South Regional in Knoxville.