By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech men's and women's cross country teams wrapped up action at the Commodore Classic Friday morning, completing the second event of the season for both programs.
The Golden Eagle men finished seventh among the 11 teams in the event, compiling 178 points despite competing a touch short-handed. For the second time in the early season, newcomer Dominic Smith paced the Tech effort, placing 22nd with a personal best time of 25:29.4 in the 8K.
Freshman Miceal McCaul finished just behind his teammate in 26th overall, delivering his first career sub-26 minute performance. He turned in a 25:44.8. Senior Ababu Mohamed produced a strong finish, clocking in at 26:01.1 to place 38th.
Clayton Kirkus put forth his strongest showing at Percy Warner Park after competing there in Belmont's event last season. The returning freshman finished with a mark of 26:10.8. Rookie Robert Dawson completed the scoring group for the purple and gold, putting up a huge personal record of 27:41.2.
"We were without Chase [Faudi] today, but Robert stepped up huge," Tech head coach Peter Dalton explained. "The men are really progressing nicely within the training plan and I'm confident about the upcoming meets when it's most important to run well."
The Tech women's squad also placed seventh in a field of 11 teams, totaling 194 points while also dealing with a couple of key missing pieces. Freshman Ruby Wyles once again led the purple and golf effort, finishing 35th with a time of 18:15.5 in the 5K.
Crossing the finish line next was returning freshman Amanda Laboy, delivering a personal best time of 18:16.5, just one second behind Wyles for the 37th place showing. Two spots back in 39th was rookie Helen Pacurariu-Nagy, clocking a PR of 18:18. 8.
Another personal record fell for the Golden Eagles, with Rahab Sawe producing a time of 18:31.2 to place 43rd. Rounding out the scoring of the top-five Golden Eagles was Emma Bradford, who turned in a sub-20 minute run with a time of 19:49.7. Freshman Maddie Long made her collegiate debut with a PR of 20:21.8 as well.
"We were without two women today and it showed," Dalton said, "but the team effort was amazing from the group. I'm excited to see this special team's success during the championship segment of the season."
The Golden Eagles will compete next at the Louisville Classic in Louisville, Ky. on Saturday, Oct. 2.
Photos by TTU Track & Field