Sept. 20, 2003
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Tennessee's cross country squad plowed through 8,000 meters of Maryland mud to finish third in a six-team field on a muggy Saturday morning at the Navy Invitational.
The Volunteers summed 80 points and shaved down the critical five-man scoring spread to 39 seconds under sunny skies but still contested on a muddy, wet Navy Golf Course, courtesy of a soaking by Hurricane Isabel.
American won the team race with 27 points, only one point better than host Navy.
"We got out well the first mile, but couldn't hold the pace the second mile," head cross country coach George Watts said. "After the second mile, the places didn't change much. We finished strong and ran well the last mile, but we were just too far back. I'm pleased we improved our five-man scoring spread to 39 seconds [down six seconds from the 45-second spread at the Tennessee adidas Invitational last week]."
Co-captain Matthew Lapp remained solid for the Volunteers. The junior from Coatesville, Pa., led the Tennessee harriers with an 11th-place, 25:51.3 effort. Ed Davis arrived next for the men in orange in 15th with a 26:11.9 clocking. Freshman Jeff Day followed in 16th with a 26:14.9 time in a solid outing. Farragut product Nate Jansen crossed 18th in 26:28.4. Co-captain Steve Klein was the fifth Vol to finish, concluding Tennessee's scoring with a 20th-place, 26:30.1 effort.
Freshman Dusty Miller placed sixth in the Tennessee pack with a 24th-place, 27:04.4 time.
Doug Brown followed in 26th by crossing the line in 27:22.9. In his inaugural race as a Vol, freshman Chris Platt took 28th in 27:47.6. Brian Mills concluded the Tennessee effort with a 33rd-place, 29:01.2 outing. Senior Tim Kelly did not finish the race.
"I feel certain once we go through our next phase of training we'll be sharper and more prepared to race physically," Watts said. "There are enough positives to feel good about the progress from last week to this week. We're going in the right direction."
Watts sends the Tennesseans through a two-week training cycle before donning the orange in competition again Oct. 4 at the Cardinal Cross Country Classic in Louisville, Ky.