Oct. 16, 2010
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The University of Tennessee men's cross country team was in action at the Indiana State University Pre-National Invitational on Saturday, and the Vols produced a 26th-place finish in a field consisting of many of the country's best teams.
With 10 squads in the Men's 8K White Race appearing in the nation's top 30, the Vols tallied 638 points to wind up 26th of the 36 teams running at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course. No. 16 Oklahoma put together the best effort to claim the team title, accumulating 106 points to hold off runner-up No. 19 BYU (138). No. 4 Colorado finished third with 140, followed by No. 8 Portland (146) and No. 13 North Carolina State (177) rounding out the top five.
Competing on the same course that will host the NCAA Championships on Nov. 22, Vol senior Michael Spooner crossed the finish line 72nd out of 241 runners in a time of 24 minutes, 48.7 seconds in his third try on this trail. It marked the third straight race this season and the ninth time in his past 11 starts that the product of Springfield, Va., had set the pace for his teammates.
Classmate Chris Rapp was a little more than 11 seconds behind Spooner, checking in 98th in 24:59.9 in his fourth appearance at this meet. It marked his best finish on the team since leading the Vols at the 2008 Greater Louisville Classic.
UT Men's Cross Country Coach George Watts had hoped to see most of his troops post course PRs, but only Rapp improved his time on the rolling layout. His previous best had been a 25:11.7 effort in 2008.
Tennessee's final three scoring runners included juniors Chris Bodary (109th, 25:07.1) and Tom Gilmartin (176th, 25:51.4) and freshman Jake Rainey (183rd, 25:56.8). The Big Orange's one through five spread turned out to be 1:08.10, which is the Vols' largest of the season.
Five other Vols were in action, but they competed individually in the Men's Open 8K Race. Freshman Stephen Derlath posted the top result, placing 59th in a career-best 26:25.5. Senior David Clabo was right on his heels, finishing 60th in 26:28.2. The others included junior Scott March (67th, 26:37.5) and freshmen Tyler Freeman (94th, 27:08.5) and Alex McCandless (103rd, 27:29.8).
The UT men begin the championship portion of their season in two weeks. They will travel to Fort Jackson Army Training Center in Columbia, S.C., to compete in the SEC Championships. Start time for the men's 8K race is 11 a.m. ET.
MEN'S TEAM RESULTS (TOP 10): 1. Oklahoma 106, 2. BYU 138, 3. Colorado 140, 4. Portland 146, 5. North Carolina State 177, 6. Georgetown 211, 7. Notre Dame 225, 8. Alabama 314, 9. Columbia 329, 10. Liberty 378, 26. Tennessee (Complete results accompany story)
VOL WHITE RACE INDIVIDUAL RESULTS: 72. Michael Spooner 24:48.7, 98. Chris Rapp 24:59.9, 109. Chris Bodary 25:07.1, 176. Tom Gilmartin 25:51.4, 183. Jake Rainey 25:56.8!, 203. Steve Fassino 26:16.8, 216. Daniel Tobin 26:36.6