By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Brittany Sheffey paced the Lady Vols to fifth place, and Chris Bodary led the Tennessee men to a third-place team finish Friday evening, as the Big Orange cross country teams popped the top on the 2011 season at the Belmont-VU Opener.
In the women's race, Sheffey had an impressive return after redshirting last season due to injury. The product of Bellport, N.Y., turned in a career best clocking for 4000 meters with a 14:11.83 readout to place fourth out of 78 runners.
Bodary, a senior from Downingtown, Pa., covered the 5000-meter Percy Warner Park men's course in 15 minutes, 26.93 seconds to place second out of 100 runners. Only Kentucky's Luis Orta prevented the UT standout from taking the individual title, navigating the layout in 15 minutes, 22.40 seconds to break the tape on a sweltering day in the Music City.
Kentucky took the men's team crown with 62 points, followed by Belmont with 78 and then UT with 84. On the women's side, Vanderbilt tallied 18 points to capture top honors. Lipscomb (63), Kentucky (76), Belmont (99) and Tennessee (129) rounded out the top five. The Vols were second a year ago, while the Lady Vols finished seventh.
Two veterans and a pair of freshmen counted toward the Lady Vols' scoring total. Junior Ramzee Fondren was the Big Orange's second finisher in the women's race. Her career-best 15:33.13 mark placed her 41st overall (scoring 29th), followed by classmate Kelsey Kane in a personal record of 15:34.57 to wind up 42nd (30th). Freshmen Lizzie Cornell was 43rd (31st) in 15:35.31, while Amirah Johnson wound up 50th (35th) in 16:02.81.
"It was good to have Brittany Sheffey back out there for the women's team," UT Director of Track & Field and Cross Country J.J. Clark said. "She knocked some rust off and did a good job today. Obviously, we have some gaps to cover, and I believe we have some people capable of doing that when the time is necessary."
Freshman Jeremy Dickie, brother of former Vol Bob Dickie and former Lady Vol Sharon Dickie, posted a solid effort in his first collegiate meet. His 16:01.94 output placed him 17th. Sophomore Jake Rainey was the third UT scorer, placing 20th in 16:03.65. Also counting toward Tennessee's point total were senior Tom Gilmartin in 22nd at 16:06.45 and rookie Austin Whitelaw in 23rd at 16:09.24. Both Dickie and Whitelaw were state runner-up performers as preps in their native Michigan.
"Chris Bodary looked very good out there today," Clark said. "He's a talent; we knew that because he was an all-region performer for us last season. I thought he ran a very smart and even race, and it was a good way to start his senior year.
"As far as the rest of the guys, I thought they all had a good showing for this time of the year. We'll build on it from here"
The Lady Vols and Vols will train for two weeks and resume competition with their first home meet since 2008, the Tennessee Invitational at Lambert Acres Golf Club in Maryville on Sept. 17.
WOMEN'S TEAM RESULTS: 1. Vanderbilt, 18; 2. Lipscomb, 63; 3. Kentucky, 76; 4. Belmont, 99; 5. Tennessee, 129; 6. Kennesaw State, 192; 7. Austin Peay, 195.
LADY VOL INDIVIDUAL RESULTS: 4. Brittany Sheffey, 14:11.83!; 41. (29.) Ramzee Fondren, 15:33.13!; 42. (30.) Kelsey Kane, 15:34.57!; 43. (31.) Lizzie Cornell, 15:35.31!; 50. (35.) Amirah Johnson, 16:02.81!; 53. (37.) Elizabeth Altizer, 16:17.05; 58. (39.) Elizabeth Tiller, 16:38.45; 61. Patavia Lowery, 16:48.05!; 63. Chelsea Knotts, 16:57.00!
MEN'S TEAM RESULTS: 1. Kentucky, 62; 2. Belmont, 78; 3. Tennessee, 84; 4. Lipscomb, 93; 5. Vanderbilt, 171; 6. Middle Tennessee State, 180; 7. Belmont-Alumni, 183; 8. Nashville Harriers, 195; 9. Kennesaw State, 198; 10. Austin Peay, 252; 11. UT-Martin, 304.
VOL INDIVIDUAL RESULTS: 2. Chris Bodary, 15:26.93; 17. Jeremy Dickie, 16:01.94!; 20. Jake Rainey, 16:03.65; 22. Tom Gilmartin, 16:06.45; 23. Austin Whitelaw, 16:09.24!; 30. Stephen Derlath, 16:20.54; 35. (34.) Alex McCandless, 16:28.49; 44. J.R. Creekmore, 16:36.43!; 59. Scott March, 17:00.54!; 75. Daniel Tobin, 17:22.02.