Tennessee's cross country squad ran to a third-place finish in a 29-team Auburn Invitational field on a rain-soaked Alabama night on the 8K Indian Pines Golf Course.
Despite running without two dependable scorers in Tim Kelly and Jeff Day, the Volunteers still kept the score down to 156 and shrank the five-man scoring spread to 39.55 seconds, less than a second off their season-best effort in that category.
Homestanding Auburn took the team title with 127 points. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech earned runner-up laurels with 141 points, 15 points ahead of UT.
With the SEC race on the horizon, Tennessee defeated 10th-place Mississippi State (264), 12th-place LSU (273) and 16th-place Vanderbilt (430).
"We had an uneventful day," Vols' coach George Watts said. "It wasn't a poor effort, just nothing spectacular as a team. We just didn't seem to get it done in the last mile and a half, and that seemed to cost us having a better performance.
"On a positive note, I'd like to single out Steve Klein for being our No. 1 man for the first time this season. Also, Chris Platt appears to be rounding into better shape. He did a nice job to finish as our fifth man as a freshman."
Co-captain Klein continued his improvement by leading the Vol contingent with his 18th-place, 25:43.34 effort in a 259-runner field.