Cross Country teams claim seventh, 14th place finishes at Evansville

Stephanie Place breaks school record

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Stephanie Place smashed the school record and claimed second place individually, leading the Tennessee Tech women's cross country team to seventh place among 14 Division I schools at the University of Evansville Invitational Saturday.

The Tech men's team, led by Joseph DeLorenzo, finished 11th among 14 teams in Tech's final meet of the regular season. The Golden Eagles will now take two weeks to prepare for the Ohio Valley Conference meet on Nov. 1.

With Place in second and Keri Light also claiming a Top 20 spot, the Golden Eagle women earned seventh place. Southern Illinois won the team title with 45 points, with Murray State (81) second, and Belmont (99) third.

The women's field included five OVC schools, with Tech finishing in the middle. In addition to Murray State in second, Eastern Illinois tied Tech for seventh, but edged the Golden Eagles with their sixth finisher. Tech beat OVC schools Austin Peay (13th) and UT Martin (14th).

Place covered the 5K race in 17:34.54, the best time in school history, edging her own school standard of 17:42 set last year. The only runner to beat Place among the 136 runners was Laura Rolf of Valparaiso, just three seconds ahead.

Light finished in 20th place in 18:38, which goes into the TTU record books as the 12th fastest cross country time. Next across the line was Tiffany Palmer, running a time of 19:12, to finish 41st, giving her the 26th best time in school history. Also in the lineup for the Golden Eagles, Ashley Evans (19:43), Traci Jones (20:10), Amanda Simmons (20:29), and Sarah Kmet (24:47).

The Tech men placed 11th among the 14 teams in the field, topping three Ohio Valley Conference foes in the standings with Austin Peay finishing 12th, Murray State 13th and UT Martin 14th. The only league school ahead of the Golden Eagles was Eastern Illinois, which took fourth place.

Joseph DeLorenzo was Tech's top finisher, covering the 8K course in 26:24 to place 47th and giving him the eighth fastest 8K time in school history. Sam Taylor was close behind in 26:31, the 12th best men's time in history. to finish in 50th place.

One second back was Ben Shassere, finishing in 52nd place at 26:32 with Tech's 13th fastest race. Jarrad Read also placed his name in the record book, placing 62nd in the time of 26:42 for the 14th best time. Ben Thompson was 79th in 27:09. Tech's lineup Saturday also include Peter Woerner (27:32) and Ethan McGroom (28:17).

Southern Illinois won the men's team title with 26 points, with Belmont (52) in second.