Oct. 19, 2002
University of Tennessee senior Sharon Dickie edged freshman teammate Felicia Guliford for the individual title as the Lady Volunteers won their third meet of the season Saturday afternoon at the UTC Invitational at the Moccasin Bend Cross Country Course.
Dickie, from Grand Blanc, Mich., and Guliford, from Gallup, N.M., both covered the rolling hills of the two-mile course in 11:10. A look at the finish line photo, however, revealed that the UT senior barely edged her younger teammate. With the win, Dickie scored as Tennessee's top runner for the 16th time in her last 16 races, dating back to the NCAA Championships of her freshman year on Nov. 23, 1998.
Sophomores Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.) and Elizabeth McCalley (Knoxville, Tenn.) were fourth and seventh, respectively in 11:36 and 11:57, and junior Erin Anderson was ninth in 12:02 to help the Big Orange total 23 points to hold off a 37-point tally by host Tennessee-Chattanooga. Vanderbilt took third with 97, followed by Tennessee State (118), University of the South (127), Tennessee Tech (133) and Middle Tennessee and Fisk (224).
Other UT finishers in the field of 57 included freshman Mindy Sullivan (Lubbock, Texas) in 10th at 12:05, freshman Megan Cauble (Knoxville, Tenn.) in 11th at 12:08, junior Jessica Southers (Ashland, Ky.) in 12th at 12:11, junior Christy Baird (Knoxville, Tenn.) in 17th at 12:53 and senior Rebecca Collins (Loveland, Ohio) in 22nd in 13:18. The race marked the season debut for Baird and Collins, who have been working their way into shape after battling injuries.
"We wanted to come down here and get a good run in, and we did that," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "Now we can focus on the conference meet. We entered this meet with a lot of confidence, and I don't think we did anything to hurt that as we turn our focus to the SEC race.
"Sharon and Felicia had a good race. Felicia has a bright future, and I really look forward to watching her develop. Mindy Sullivan moved herself closer to the front group, and it was good to see that."
As Clark mentioned, Tennessee's next meet is the Southeastern Conference Championships on Nov. 4. The meet will be held at the University of Florida Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla., at 9 a.m. Interestingly enough, the last time the meet was held in Gainesville, UT brought home the team trophy in 1990.
The trip to the Sunshine State will also mark the return of Clark to the city where he spent 10 years as the head coach of UF's cross country program and an assistant in track and field. He left the school on May 23, 2002, to direct the women's cross country and track and field teams at Tennessee. In his first season, he has guided the Lady Vols to a 33-5 record and three victories in four meets.