Oct. 12, 2002



With senior Sharon Dickie running out front once again, the University of Tennessee women's cross country team splashed its way through the mud and muck to a sixth-place team finish Saturday morning at the 34th-annual PSU National Invitational.

The Lady Volunteers, competing on the rain-soaked Penn State University Blue and White Golf Courses in their first 6000-meter race of the season, accumulated 115 points to finish behind four-ranked schools and another noted distance program. UT did, however, triumph over 13 other squads and improved its 2002 record to 26-5.

"Overall, we had a good race, considering the conditions," Lady Vol Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "I'm pleased with our progress and glad that we had this opportunity to help sharpen us for our championship season. We need to keep working hard and get our number four and five runners to close the gap in order to have a shot at going to nationals."

Eighth-ranked Providence claimed victory with 51 points, followed by No. 21 Villanova (74), No. 25 Penn State (87) and No. 22 William & Mary (96). West Virginia (109), just six ahead of the Big Orange in fifth place, boasted the meet's individual champion in Megan Metcalfe. The sophomore crossed the line first in 20:49.72.

As for Tennessee, it was paced by Dickie for the 15th time in her past 15 starts. The Grand Blanc, Mich., native was seventh in 21:11.31. Also scoring for the Lady Vols were freshman Felicia Guliford (Gallup, N.M.) in 17th at 22:04.57, sophomore Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.) in 25th at 22:19.48, freshman Megan Cauble (Knoxville, Tenn.) in 31st in 22:30.55, and junior Jessica Southers (Ashland, Ky) in 35th at 22:34.22.



"Sharon ran very competitively against a good field," Clark said. "I also thought Felicia and Megan ran well and Brooke was solid for us. Felicia really stepped it up today."

Those running but not contributing to the scoring cause were sophomore Elizabeth McCalley (Knoxville, Tenn.) in 45th in 22:51.14, junior Erin Anderson (Kent, Ohio) in 49th at 23:04.53, freshman Mindy Sullivan (Lubbock, Texas) in 68th at 23:32.07 and sophomore Nicole Cook (Petersburg, Va.) in 74th at 23:39.86.

Clark's squad will return to competition next Saturday (Oct. 19) as it heads down I-75 to run in the UTC Invitational in Chattanooga, Tenn. at 2:30 p.m. The short, 3000-meter distance will be the final tuneup for the Big Orange women before they move into the championship portion of their schedule with the Southeastern Conference meet in Gainesville, Fla., on Nov. 4.



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