Oct. 5, 2002
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Tennessee's
cross country team pieced together an eighth-place finish in a 20-team field
with 190 points Saturday at the 8K Indiana State Invitational. The Volunteers
didn't slip past any ranked teams at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course,
but the 35.2-second spread between their first and fifth runners stands as the
squad's best 8K spread in the last three seasons.
"I was really pleased with Patrick Gildea's performance," cross country coach George Watts said. However, Watts said the team needed to improve if the Vols hoped to run again on the same course for the NCAA Championships Nov. 25.
With a 16th-place finish in a 178-man field, Gildea led the Volunteers for the first time since he stepped on campus in 2001. Gildea's 25:05.4 time stands as his best 8K time at UT and a 29-second improvement on his season best. Gildea became the third different person to lead the Tennessee pack this season in as many meets. Rob Cloutier led the Vols at the season opener at Notre Dame and Tim Kelly led the squad at the Tennessee Invitational in September.
Cloutier remained steady as the second Vol to finish with a 28th-place, 25:20.0 clocking. Cloutier hasn't finished lower than second in the Tennessee pack in this season's three meets. Co-captain Scott DeFilippis crossed 45th in 25:36.5. Kelly finished 50th in 25:40.2, a six-second 8K season-best improvement. Just a fraction slower, Steve Klein wrapped up Tennessee's scoring, as he's done in all three meets in 2002, with a 51st-place, 25:40.6 effort to better his lifetime best by nine seconds.
Ed Davis finished another two ticks back in 25:42.7, a big 38-second season-best improvement, to earn 55th. Keith Kimmons returned from injury to take 62nd in 25:49.3, 17 seconds ahead of his previous season best. Matthew Lapp trimmed 20 seconds off his season-best time with a 25:55.0 to cross 67th. Co-captain Eric Bell broke the tape in 26.12.2 to earn 76th in his first action of the season. Newcomer Doug Brown took 90th in 26:30.9 to complete the Tennessee effort.
The Volunteers hit the road again next week with a morning race at the 8K Furman Invitational, site of the 2001 NCAA Championships. The race serves as the last scheduled competitive tune-up before the Nov. 4 SEC Championships at Florida.