Nov. 3, 2008
The Tennessee men's cross country team ran to a fifth-place finish with 130 points Monday in Starkville, Miss. The Vols were led to the finish by sophomore Michael Spooner, who finished the 8K race 13th overall in a personal-best time of 24:05.5. For his efforts, he earned All-SEC honors.
Alabama captured the team title with 32 points, and Auburn's Girma Mesecho won the individual crown in a time of 23:11.26.
"Michael (Spooner) has continued to improve by leaps and bounds, and I'm proud of him for earning his first All-SEC certificate," Tennessee head coach George Watts said. "His improvement is largely due to his improved consistency in training and his strong mental approach to competition.
"As a team, we had a solid performance based on where we stood going into the race. I believe we ran our best race of the season and I expect us to improve even more as we prepare for the NCAA South Regional in two weeks."
Spooner was followed across the line by senior Andrew Press in 19th place with a time of 24:35.83 and senior Steve Tobin in 23rd with a time of 24:45.72. Junior Chris Rapp was the fourth Vol to finish in 35th with a time of 25:11.85. The final runner to score for the team was freshman Chris Bodary in 43rd with a clocking of 25:29.61. Bodary was only the second UT runner to earn All-SEC Freshman Team honors as the sixth freshman to finish the race.
The Vols' time spread between the first- and fifth-place finishers was 1:24.56. Tennessee has finished in the top five at the SEC Championships every season since 2003.
Next up for the Vols is the NCAA South Regional, held at Lambert Acres Golf Club in Maryville, Tenn., on Nov. 15.
|1.||Girma Mesecho, Auburn||23:11.26|
|13.||Michael Spooner, Tennessee||24:05.05|
|19.||Andrew Press, Tennessee||24:35.83|
|23.||Steven Tobin, Tennessee||24:45.72|
|35.||Chris Rapp, Tennessee||25:11.85|
|43.||Chris Bodary, Tennessee||25:29.61|
|46.||Mike Brodsky, Tennessee||25:33.61|
|49.||Chris Kane, Tennessee||25:39.23|
|58.||Joe Franklin, Tennessee||25:51.78|
|63.||Ryan Beabout, Tennessee||25:59.79|
|79.||David Clabo, Tennessee||26:41.69|