Oct. 3, 2009
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Head coach George Watts said his squad didn't run its best race, but the Tennessee men's cross country team still managed to post its third top-three finish of the season Saturday in the Greater Louisville Classic at E.P. "Tom Sawyer" State Park.
The Vols tallied 188 points to finish third in the 38-team Gold Division race behind host Louisville (68) and runner-up Kentucky (153). Central Michigan came in fourth with 205, followed by Middle Tennessee State (251), Davidson (259), Queens (260), Eastern Kentucky (274), Rend Lake Community College (284) and Purdue (288).
"It was a sub-par team performance," Watts said. "We failed to get out the first mile to set us up for the rest of the race. It forced us to play catch-up the rest of the way, and it was just tough to make up any ground on a flat, fast course.
"Even though it was our third meet in a row, we were still strong enough to handle a fast pace. We just failed to come through."
UT junior Peter Sigilai, who last season finished 18th at the meet while competing for Rend Lake, was the Big Orange's top finisher in 11th place (scoring 10th) out of 335 runners. He covered the 8,000-meter course in 24 minutes, 22.15 seconds to lead the Vols for the second time in 2009.
"Peter did a solid job leading the team today, but he had something in reserve as well."
Junior Michael Spooner, who paced Tennessee last weekend at the Colonial Inter-Regional Challenge, ran second for his squad and finished 22nd overall (19th) in 24:39.17. Also contributing to the scoring tally were freshman Leoule Degfae, finishing 51st (47th) in 25:13.35; sophomore Chris Bodary, placing 52nd (48th) in 25:14.45; and junior Steve Fassino, taking 70th (64th) in 25:25.72.
The Vols will have next weekend off from competition before returning to action on Oct. 16 at the Panorama Farms Invitational in Charlottesville, Va.
MEN'S TEAM RESULTS (TOP 10): 1. Louisville 68, 2. Kentucky 153, 3. Tennessee 188, 4. Central Michigan 205, 5. Middle Tennessee 251, 6. Davidson 259, 7. Queens 260, 8. Eastern Kentucky 274, 9. Rend Lake 284, 10. Purdue 288.
VOL INDIVIDUAL RESULTS: 1. Stephen Sambu, Rend Lake C.C. 23:33.22, 11. (10). Peter Sigilai 24:22.15, 22. (19.) Michael Spooner 24:39.17, 51. (47.) Leoule Degfae 25:13.35, 52. (48.) Chris Bodary 25:14.45, 70. (64.) Steve Fassino 25:25.72, 91. (85.) Mike Brodsky 25:40.27, 101. (95.) Chris Kane 25:47.03, 113. David Clabo 25:52.67, 141. Stuart Chandler 26:06.38, 144. Joe Franklin 26:09.10, 173. Tom Gilmartin 26:22.52, 181. Spenser Tipton 26:28.61.