GAINESVILLE, Fla. - University of Tennessee senior Sharon Dickie placed fifth to pace the Lady Volunteers to a third-place team finish at the 2002 Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championships at the University of Florida Golf Course on Monday morning.
Dickie finished in 21:42.64 on the 6000-meter course to cross the line first among UT runners for the 17th consecutive race, dating back to Nov. 23, 1998. She was joined in the All-SEC club by sophomore Brooke Novak, who took eighth in 21:54.94 to garner league honors for the second straight season.
Arkansas won the meet, while Kentucky logged a strong performance to finish just ahead of Tennessee.
"We went in thinking we had a shot to win, but we realized it would take a fantastic race to pull it off," UT coach J.J. Clark said. "Arkansas executed its plan very well, and Kentucky deserves credit for its effort."
The Lady Vols also got a season-best effort from freshman Megan Cauble. Cauble, who scored twice previously for her squad in the No. 4 slot, came up big with a third-place run of 22:28.57 to take 20th. Also scoring for Tennessee were junior Jessica Southers in 27th at 22:51.30 and junior Erin Anderson in 29th at 22:56.21.
The men's team pieced together a fourth-place finish in a 10-team field with 105 points.
"As a team, we failed to live up to the expectations we had going into the meet," coach George Watts said. "We did have two guys run extremely well. I'm very proud of Scott (DeFilippis) and Patrick (Gildea) making All-SEC. The rest of the guys need to learn how to rise to the occasion and handle the pressure of SEC Championships."
Arkansas won the title with a 31-point effort, 21 points ahead of runner-up Alabama.
The SEC Championships for the men and women set the stage for a competition for the two NCAA Championships berths at stake Nov. 16 at the NCAA South Regionals at Lambert Acres Golf Club in Maryville.
Lady Vol golf wins Auburn Tiger Derby
The No. 11 Lady Vol golf team surged to its second tournament title victory at the Auburn Tiger Derby with a third-day 285, which betters its first-day 289 total for second-lowest team round in program history, to defeat 10 out of the top-25 squads in the nation with a Derby best-ever 54-hole 871 (289-297-285).
Freshman Violeta Retamoza also became the first Lady Vol to ever capture medal honors twice in a season and also tied Katharina Larsson for the most tournament medals by a single golfer after defeating Auburn's Celeste Troche in a playoff. Retamoza had a pair of under-par rounds (70, 67) to come from behind after tying for 21st after the first round for a three-day 211 total (74-70-67), which is also the second-best 54-hole total in UT history. "We're really excited about the victory," coach Judi Pavon said. "It's the biggest win our program has ever had, and to do it against the best teams in the country really showed a lot." The Lady Vols beat the top seven teams in the country and a total of 10 of the top 25 schools in the nation.