Junior Brooke Novak set the pace as the 28th-ranked Tennessee women's cross country team placed fifth Saturday at the 35th-annual Penn State National Meet on the soggy PSU Blue/White Golf Course.
Novak, who paced UT for the second time in four meets this season, raced to a 20:58.21 clocking to finish sixth in a field of 225 runners. The Wisconsin native helped the Lady Volunteers tally 111 points and place fifth out of 19 squads.
No. 10 Providence claimed the team trophy with 49 points, followed by No. 9 Columbia (58), No. 18 Penn State (84), No. 20 Colorado State (89) and Tennessee.
Joining Novak in the scoring five were sophomore Megan Cauble in 15th at 21:20.85, senior Lindsay Hyatt in 27th at 21:42.29, junior Elizabeth McCalley in 28th at 21:43.75 and sophomore Carly Matthews in 35th at 21:49.12.
"We had some good individual performances with Brooke Novak running a lifetime best and with Elizabeth McCalley and Lindsay Hyatt stepping it up," coach J.J. Clark said. "Katie Flaute looked lively today and can run even faster, and Megan Cauble was consistent as always, which she has developed a reputation for.
"We needed to get some people a little closer to Megan, but overall it was probably our best team race. I wanted to come in and beat some of these ranked teams, but we weren't able to do that today. We'll need to turn it up a couple of notches, but I believe we have the ability to do just that in two weeks at the conference meet."
Tennessee will be back in action in two weeks, as the squad travels to Athens, Ga., for the Nov. 3 Southeastern Conference Championships. Race time for the 6K competition at the UGA Golf Course is 10 a.m. ET.
The Lady Vols will attempt to improve upon last season's third-place finish.