Tennessee's men's cross country squad raced to its first victory of the 2003 season with a commanding performance Saturday morning at the 8K Cardinal Classic at the University of Louisville.
The Volunteers raced past second-place Eastern Kentucky 32-80 in the 18-team meet, by far the largest field Tennessee has faced this season. All 11 Vols who had previously competed this season ran season-best times by 20 seconds or more.
UT's Tim Kelly broke the tape in 25:06.66, fourth overall and first among collegians.
"Almost everyone ran well," UT coach George Watts said. "Nate Jansen had to drop out (minor injury) or I think we would have been even better. Overall, it was a nice performance."
Kelly led the Tennessee contingent. His leading time among the collegiate runners sliced 1:37 off his previous season best. Co-captain Matthew Lapp (25:12.15) remained steady with a fifth-place finish, second among collegians and 39 seconds faster than his previous season best.
Co-captain Steve Klein continued improving with his 13th-place run (25:35.07), a full 55 seconds faster than his previous season best. And freshman Jeff Day continued to make his case for inclusion on the travel squad with a 16th-place time of 25:45.42, a 30-second improvement.
"I'm really proud of Tim Kelly, Matthew Lapp and Jeff Day," Watts said. "Kelly ran a really smart race and made up lots of ground the last two miles. Matthew was our leader most of the race. Jeff has been a pleasant surprise."
The Volunteers head south for the Auburn Invitational Friday before taking three weeks to prepare for the championship portion of the schedule begins in November.
Lady Vol run to third-place finish
Three Lady Vols positioned themselves among the top 10 individuals as the 22nd-ranked University of Tennessee women's cross country team splashed through the mud and muck to finish third at Saturday's 30th-annual Paul Short Run in eastern Pennsylvania.
Running on Lehigh University's 6,000-meter Goodman Campus Course on a cold and rainy day, sophomore Megan Cauble set the pace for the second straight meet for UT, covering the distance in 21:06.11 to place seventh among a field of 224 runners.
Junior Brooke Novak (21:12.90) and sophomore Carly Matthews (21.17.53) weren't far behind in the ninth and 10th spots.
"This was a higher quality meet than the one in Alabama two weeks ago, and I thought we responded by running better as a team," UT coach J.J. Clark said. "I was content with the packing of our first six runners, who finished within just over a minute of each other.
There is still room for improvement from everyone, though."
The Lady Vols will now turn their thoughts to the Oct. 18 Penn State National Invitational, where Clark is expected to send his No. 1 lineup into action for the first time this season.
Lady Vol linksters also place third
Coach Pavon's golf team closed out the 2003 Franklin Street Partners Lady Tar Heel Invitational in a third-place tie with Auburn after turning in a 906 (307-289-310) for the tournament.
Duke captured the event title with an incredible 14-under 850 (279-285-286), which was 49 strokes better than second-place Florida's 899 (292-303-304). Individually, the Blue Devils' Elizabeth Janangelo (66-72-71) and Leigh Anne Hardin (70-71-68) tied for the Lady Tar Heel medal with seven-under 209 efforts on the Finley Golf Course.
As for the Lady Vols, team captain Jessica Shepley tied her personal-best, 54-hole total with a four-over 220 (76-68-76), which tied her for fifth place at the Lady Tar Heel. Sophomore Violeta Retamoza shrugged off injury for the second straight round with another even-par 72 to her credit.
Next up, UT plays host to the Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Championships Oct. 19-21 at Fox Den Country Club.