Sept. 16, 2005
MARYVILLE, Tenn. -- Freshman Sarah Bowman raced to her second straight individual title, as the 16th-ranked University of Tennessee women's cross country team handily defeated the University of Memphis at the Tennessee Invitational on Friday evening at Lambert Acres Golf Club.
Head Coach J.J. Clark's squad improved its record to 13-1 on the season, placing five runners in the top eight positions to tally 18 points. Memphis, led by fourth-place Emily Malinowski (18:39), accumulated 40 for runner-up honors.
"We're moving along," Clark said. "We had a better race, I believe, than our last meet, but there's still a lot we have to do. I was just looking for progression as we get ready to hit the road for our first 6K race in two weeks."
Bowman, from Warrenton, Va., followed up her season-opening triumph at the Belmont Opener on Sept. 2 with a 19-second victory over Lady Vol teammate Katie Flaute on the 5,000-meter layout, covering the course in 17 minutes, 50 seconds. The UT rookie, whose time was the fourth-best ever recorded by a Lady Vol on the course, ran with her teammate through the first two miles before moving to the front over the final third of the race. Flaute, a junior from Dayton, Ohio, crossed the line second in 18:09.
"She's a quality athlete and showed way more poise today than she did two weeks ago," Clark said of Bowman. "She was very strong, and I was pleased with her performance and the saavy she displayed on the course.
"I also was proud of the way Katie looked. She and Sarah ran very well together, and I believe there is a lot more in the tank for Katie. She ran well, but Sarah ran a little better last mile. The team is moving in the right direction. We just need to keep training and get ready for the next race."
"It's really good for us right now," Bowman said of the team victory. "We're working to get everyone in shape, and I think today was a good day for all of us. Katie and I ran together and pushed each other, and that was really helpful to have each other. I started pushing for the last mile, but that uphill finish wasn't exactly fun."
Also contributing to the win for Tennessee was Leah Soro, a freshman from Knoxville, who placed third overall and was the Big Orange's third scorer in a time of 18:21. UT's fourth and fifth point-producers were senior Carly Matthews (Winston-Salem, N.C.) in fifth place overall at 18:41 and senior Mindy Sullivan (Lubbock, Texas) in eighth-place at 19:59. Also running for Team Orange but not scoring were freshman Rolanda Bell (Laurelton, N.Y.) in 10th at 20:26, rookie Kimarra McDonald (Lumberton, N.J.) in 12th at 21:04 and senior Rachel Zamata (Henderson, Tenn.) in 15th at 22:27.
"All of our top three today will return next year," Clark said. "It's just very pleasing to see them perform well, and to know we will have Felicia (Guliford) back next year, too. Leah had a very solid race. She has done an excellent job with her summer training, and it is starting to show. I'm very proud to have her here."
For the Lady Volunteers, it was their second straight title at the Tennessee Invitational and their fifth ever. UT also won its own meet in 1998, 2002 and 2004 and tied for first in 1999. Individually, Bowman became the fourth Lady Vol to claim top honors at the home meet. Previous UT winners include Brooke Novak (2004), Sharon Dickie (2000, 2002) and Maureen Ferris (1998).
Tennessee will now turn its focus to Oct. 1, when Clark and company travel to Bethlehem, Pa., to compete in the 6K Paul Short Run at Lehigh University.
|2005 TENNESSEE INVITATIONAL|
Sept. 16 at Lambert Acres Golf Club, Maryville, Tenn.
Women's 5K Race Results
|9.||Mary Claire Dake||Memphis||20:15|
|1.||#16 Tennessee (1-2-3-5-7*)||18|
|* Unattached runner displaced|
|WEATHER: Sunny, slight breeze, 85 degrees|
|COURSE CONDITION: Softened by morning rain, but firm|