Sept. 21, 2002
Senior Sharon Dickie claimed her second victory in as many meets, and the University of Tennessee women's cross country team won its second-straight competition, taking the title at the adidas Wolfpack Classic on a steamy Saturday morning in North Carolina.
The Lady Vols, who received three votes in the first FinishLynx/NCAA Division I Women's Cross Country Poll of the regular season and rank number three in the NCAA's South Region, tallied 23 points to triumph over host North Carolina State (46). Finishing behind the UT women and Wolfpack were Campbell (72), UNC Wilmington (114), Mt. Olive (118), St. Augustine's (159) and North Carolina A&T (188).
Both Tennesee and sixth-ranked N.C. State held out participants, so Lady Vol Head Coach J.J. Clark's focus was simply on how the squad would respond to traveling and competing without key competitors such as sophomore Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.) and junior Christy Baird (Knoxville, Tenn.). Both UT athletes missed the meet due to the training plan Clark has for them.
"We really ran well as a team today," Clark said. "I was very pleased with the way we packed together and responded to the challenge. Considering the amount of training we've had and not having the full group there, we performed very well."
Dickie, from Grand Blanc, Mich., crossed the line as Tennessee's top finisher for the 14th time in a row, dating back to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 23, 1998. Her 19:07 clocking was 28 seconds ahead of UT freshman Felicia Guliford (Gallup, N.M.), whose runner-up reading was 19:35 on the hilly, 5300-meter University Club course.
The women in orange, who had all of their runners finish in the top 16 in a field of 50, placed all of their scorers among the first nine to cross the line. In addition to Dickie and Guliford, those finishers included junior Jessica Southers (Ashland, Ky.) in fifth at 20:12, freshman Megan Cauble (Knoxville, Tenn.) in sixth at 20:18 and junior Erin Anderson (Kent, Ohio) in ninth at 20:48. Running impressively, but not scoring, were sophomore Elizabeth McCalley (Knoxville, Tenn.) in 10th at 20:54, freshman Mindy Sullivan (Lubbock, Texas) in 12th at 21:08 and freshman Katie Flaute (Dayton, Ohio) in 16th at 22:09.
"Sharon had another strong effort, and the freshmen, Felicia and Megan, really stepped it up today," said Clark. "Elizabeth McCalley was also very tough. She twisted her ankle pretty badly during the race but kept on running."
The Lady Vols will take the next two weekends off from competition. They will next see action when they travel to University Park, Pa., to compete in the PSU National Invitational on Oct. 12. The meet, hosted by Penn State, will be Tennessee's first 6000-meter race of the year.