Keeping pace with the Tennessee men’s cross country team proved to be an uphill battle for opposing teams as the Vols opened their season with a first-place showing on a flat, hard course at Moccasin Bend in Chattanooga.
The Vols, currently ranked second in the SEC coaches’ poll, battled heat and tough course conditions on their way to an impressive showing on the 5-kilometer course, their shortest race of the season.
Four Vols finished in the top seven, and Tennessee placed all five of its scoring runners in the top 13 to claim victory. UT had 32 points, while Belmont finished second with 49 and host school Tennessee-Chattanooga was third with 70.
"Overall, I’m pleased with the team’s performance," Tennessee coach George Watts said.
Junior Dusty Miller crossed the finish line first for the Vols and placed third overall in a time of 15:20. Tyler DeVault, who sat out the 2004 season due to a stress fracture in his femur, finished fourth in a time of 15:34.
"Dusty Miller ran a strong race and was competitive the entire way," Watts said. "It’s also nice to have Tyler DeVault back running cross country. He handled himself well considering today was his first cross country race in two years."
Tennessee’s Andy Baksa came in fifth at 15:35. Matt Piccarello finished seventh, registering a time of 15:39. Ed Davis rounded out the scoring for the Vols, finishing 13th overall in 15:53.