Oct. 12, 2002
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Tennessee's cross country squad notched its second win of the season with a dominating effort Saturday morning at the Furman Invitational. The Volunteers bested the 13-team field on the 8K course at the Furman University Golf Course. After having problems on the course twice last season, Tennessee placed its scoring five in the top 12 and seven runners in the top 14 to accumulate 33 points and better runner-up Georgia's 64-point tally.
The teams ran the contest in hot and muggy conditions for mid October which factored for a slower course. Besides the team victory, Tennessee met another of its goals by keeping its spread between its top-five scoring runners tight. The spread for the five Vol scorers stood at 36 seconds, less than a second off the squad's best spread of the season.
"We had an encouraging meet in that we accomplished some of our goals for this competition," head coach George Watts said. "We wanted to run our first two miles well and get out strong. We did that. We also wanted to stay strong and come out on top. Patrick Gildea ran another very good race. Scott DeFilippis improved tremendously since last week. Eric Bell probably had the best cross country race of his college career."
Senior Gildea led the Vols for the second consecutive week. Gildea finished second, his career best, with a 25:27.5 timing to land near the top of the heap in the 109-runner field. Senior co-captain Scott DeFilippis took fourth in 25:46.0 for his season-best finish. Senior co-captain Eric Bell also contributed in a big way for the Vols with a season-best sixth-place finish in 25:54.8. Steve Klein remained solid with a season-best ninth-place finish in 25:59.3. Tim Kelly closed out the Vol scoring five with a 12th-place, 26:03.3 effort.
Ed Davis followed right behind in 13th with a 26:09.0 clocking. Rob Cloutier finished 14th in 26:14.6 to give the Vols seven runners in the top 14. Doug Brown took a season-best 18th in 26:35.3. Matthew Lapp ran a 26:39.9 to earn 20th. Cordis Stanfield improved his lifetime best by 57 seconds by clocking in at 27:01.4 to take 27th. Jimmy Judge wrapped up the Volunteer effort in 42nd with a lifetime-best 27:53.1.
The Southeastern Conference Championships arrive next for the Vols on Nov. 4 in Gainesville, Fla. Tennessee will train in the next three weeks in hopes of peaking in the all-important championship portion of the schedule.