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Okwera, Blaase Finish Top 10 at SECs

Nov. 1, 2013

Team Standings Points
1. Arkansas: 1-2-3-10-15 31
2. Florida: 5-8-13-29-41 96
3. Georgia: 4-17-21-27-32 101
4. Missouri: 11-22-23-25-26 107
5. Kentucky: 12-16-36-48-61 173
6. Auburn: 6-9-31-60-69 175
7. Tennessee: 7-20-33-62-65 187

» Full Results

Tennessee Scorers Time
7. Peter Okwera 24:00.42
20. Daniel Tobin 24:36.13
33. Stephen Derlath 25:02.12
69. Austin Whitelaw 25:54.85
72. Jordan Chaney 26:01.25

» Full Results

Team Standings Points
1. Arkansas 32
2. Texas A&M 123
3. Kentucky 134
4. Florida 150
5. Vanderbilt 161
6. Alabama 174
7. Missouri 178
8. Tennessee 179

» Full Results

Tennessee Scorers Time
10. Chelsea Blaase 20:44.24
17. Alexis Panisse 21:05.09
42. Kelsey Kane 21:45.18
53. Emily Williams 21:58.98
61. Amirah Johnson 22:11.33

» Full Results

Junior // Kampala, Uganda

Okwera led the Vols at the SEC meet once again, earned All-SEC honors with his seventh-place finish. It is his fourth top-10 finish this season.

Sophomore // St. Joseph, Ill.

Coming off her first career career win last month at Alabama, Blaase recorded a 10th-place finish at the SEC Championships to earn second-team All-SEC honors

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Tennessee junior Peter Okwera and sophomore Chelsea Blaase both scored top-10 individual finishes Friday at the SEC Cross Country Championships.

Okwera finished the men's 8K in seventh place as Tennessee finished seventh in the team standings. Blaase, coming off her first individual win two weeks ago at Alabama, took 10th in the women's 6K. The Lady Vols finished eighth.

Okwera earned first-team All-SEC honors for the second consecutive season while Blaase was named second-team All-SEC after the meet.

In the men's race, the Vols finished with 187 points. Arkansas placed all seven of its runners in the top 20 en route to the conference title, and Arkansas' Kemoy Campbell of Arkansas won the meet in a record time of 22:58.73.

Okwera crossed the finish line in seventh in 24:00.42, his best 8K time this season by 20 seconds.

Senior Daniel Tobin was the Vols' No. 2 runner, placing 20th in 24:36.13. It was easily the senior's best performance at the conference meet. His previous best finish at SECs was 31st as a freshman, and he had finished out of the top 50 in the race the last two years.

"Peter had another strong race to earn All-SEC honors for the second year in a row, and Tobin went out there and had the race of his career," Tennessee director of track and field/cross country J.J. Clark said.

The Vols additional scorers included: Stephen Derlath (33rd, 25:02.12), Austin Whitelaw (69th, 25:54.85) and Jordan Chaney (72nd, 26:01.25). Kyle Walters and Jack Little were both injured on the course and could not finish.

"For the men, our goal was a top-five finish, and that was realistic," Clark said. "We were 14 points away from fifth. We just have to refocus to get ready for the regional meet."

In the women's race, Blaase and sophomore Alexis Panisse scored top-20 finishes to give the Lady Vols an eighth-place finish with 179 points, a four-place improvement from a year ago. Arkansas won the meet with 32 points.

Blaase kept the momentum rolling from her first career win two weeks ago at the Crimson Classic. She finished 10th in 20:44.24, a major improvement from her 41st-place result at the SEC meet a year ago.

"She's believing in her workouts and believing in herself," Clark said. "She's put herself in condition to be in these situations because of her training."

Panisse also put together a better race in her second career SEC meet. She finished 17th -- one spot away from earned All-SEC honors -- in a time of 21:05.09.

Senior Kelsey Kane, (42nd, 21:45.18), freshman Emily Williams (53rd, 21:58.98) and junior Amirah Johnson (61st, 22:11.33) rounded out the Lady Vols' top five.

"It was an outstanding run for Chelsea and a solid run for Alexis," Clark said. "The good thing for us is four of our top five runners are returning next season. Now we have to add some depth to that."

Tennessee returns to action on Nov. 15 for the NCAA South Regional Championships at Tuscaloosa, Ala.

2013 SEC Cross Country Championships
Men's Team Results

1. Arkansas, 31
2. Florida, 96
3. Georgia, 101
4. Missouri, 107
5. Kentucky, 173
6. Auburn, 175
7. Tennessee, 187*
8. Texas A&M, 187
9. Mississippi State, 229
10. Mississippi, 242
11. Alabama, 251
12. LSU, 356
13. Vanderbilt, 369
*-won NCAA Tiebreak over Texas A&M

Tennessee Men's Runners
7. Peter Okwera, 24:00.42
20. Daniel Tobin, 24:36.13
33. Stephen Derlath, 25:02.12
69. Austin Whitelaw, 25:54.85
72. Jordan Chaney, 26:01.25
79. J.R. Creekmore, 26:05.66
108. Nick Kaiser, 27:56.91

Women's Team Results
1. Arkansas, 32
2, Texas A&M, 123
3. Kentucky, 134
4. Florida, 150
5. Vanderbilt, 161
6. Alabama, 174
7. Missouri, 178
8. Tennessee, 179
9. Mississippi, 190
10. Mississippi State, 191
11. Georgia, 224
12. South Carolina, 294
13. Auburn, 309
14. LSU, 460

Tennessee Women's Runners
10. Chelsea Blaase, 20:44.24
17. Alexis Panisse, 21:05.09
42. Kelsey Kane, 21:45.18
53. Emily Williams, 21:58.98
61. Amirah Johnson, 22:11.33
100. Patavia Lowery, 23:32.87
110. Caroline Duer, 24:11.53
112. Kianna Ruff, 24:22.53
114. Nijgia Snapp, 24:40.03



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