Dec. 3, 2008
The Tennessee men's cross country team honored four athletes for their contributions to the team during the 2008 season at a banquet held this week in Knoxville.
Senior Steve Tobin was awarded the Captain's Award after being voted the team captain prior to the 2008 season. The Springfield, Va., native competed in five races and scored for the team four times. He finished third on the team at both the SEC Championship and the NCAA South Regional.
Sophomore Michael Spooner was named Most Valuable Runner following a season that saw him earn both All-SEC and All-Region honors. Also a Springfield, Va., native, Spooner ran in five races and was the Vols' top finisher twice. He finished 13th overall at the SEC Championship and 25th overall at the NCAA South Regional.
Junior Chris Rapp was named Most Improved Runner after scoring for the team in five of six races. Rapp's times at the 2008 SEC Championship and NCAA South Regional were more than 30 seconds better than his marks in the same races last season. He was one of only three Vols to run every race during the 2008 campaign.
The 29th Vega-Watts award, named for former letterman Sal Vega and current head coach George Watts in honor of their contributions to the program as student-athletes, was bestowed upon sophomore Steve Fassino. A Signal Mountain, Tenn., native, Fassino competed in five races for the Vols and scored for the team twice, including at the NCAA South Regional.
Tennessee finished fifth as a team at both the SEC Championships and the NCAA South Regional. The Vols will return nine of 11 lettermen from the 2008 squad next season.