Sept. 18, 2009
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Jackie Areson paced the Lady Vol cross country team for the second straight meet, leading Tennessee to a third-place finish at the Crimson Classic on Friday evening.
Areson navigated the 5,000-meter trail at Alabama's Harry Pritchett Running Park in a personal-best 17 minutes, 42.20 seconds to snare a fourth-place result and help the Big Orange women accumulate 88 points. Finishing ahead of UT in the team standings were Alabama, with 43, and Auburn, with 75. Georgia Tech (115) and Samford (137) rounded out the top five.
After winning the Belmont-VU Opener two weekends ago, Areson led Tennessee to the finish line for just the second time in her career. She got help from junior Brittany Sheffey, who was right behind her in fifth place with a clocking of 17:44.10. Senior Katie Van Horn ran her first cross country race in two years and gave Tennessee its third finisher in the top 10, taking ninth in 18:02.90.
UT's only other runners were senior Michele Levy and sophomore Elizabeth Tiller. For the second straight meet they contributed to the scoring cause, carding finishes of 30th (27th) in 19:06.30 and 46th (43) in 19:43.20, respectively. For Tiller, a graduate of Tuscaloosa's American Christian Academy, the meet was her first opportunity as a Lady Vol to run in her hometown.
"For where we are in the season, I thought we looked pretty good and accomplished what we wanted to today," UT Head Women's Coach J.J. Clark said. "I thought the team stepped up from the Belmont meet, and I was happy to see that. Jackie was solid again, Brittany ran much better and we got Katie Van Horn worked into the mix today.
"Obviously, we aren't where we want to be, but we are not at the end point. This is just the beginning. We still have six weeks of training and racing ahead of us to get ready for the SEC meet. We'll keep working hard to prepare ourselves for that challenge."
The Lady Vols return to action again on Oct. 2, when they travel to Bethlehem, Pa., to compete in the Brooks Paul Short Run at Lehigh University. Race time for UT's first 6K race of the season is 11 a.m. Eastern Time.
WOMEN'S TEAM RESULTS:
1. Alabama 43
2. Auburn 75
3. Tennessee 88
4. Georgia Tech 115
5. Samford 137
6. Chattanooga 153
7. Kennesaw State 164
8. LSU 167
9. Belmont 254
10. Alabama State 259
11. Jackson State 297
12. North Alabama 360
13. Huntingdon 374
14. Alabama A&M 389
15. Stillman 418.
LADY VOL INDIVIDUAL RESULTS:
1. MacKenzie Howe, Kennesaw State, 17:13.40
4. Jackie Areson 17:42.20
5. Brittany Sheffey 17:44.10
9. Katie Van Horn 18:02.90
30. (27.) Michele Levy 19:06.30
46. (43.) Elizabeth Tiller 19:43.20