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Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles

Tech women claim title, men finish second at Golden Eagle Invitational

Tech women claim title, men finish second at Golden Eagle Invitational

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – It was a highly successful day for the Tennessee Tech men's and women's cross country programs Friday afternoon, wrapping up the regular season portion of the schedule by hosting the Golden Eagle Invitational at the Putnam County Sports Complex.

The women's squad claimed the top spot in the 5K, defeating multiple Ohio Valley Conference and in-state rivals along the way, including the likes of Austin Peay, Chattanooga, ETSU, Murray State, Southeast Missouri, and Tennessee State.

Less than a full year after finishing fifth out of five teams in its own event in February, the purple and gold collected four of the top-10 places on the day, totaling just 34 points to defeat ETSU by 11.

For the first time this season, Amanda Laboy led the Golden Eagle effort, earning a runner-up finish in a field of 59 runners. The returning freshman clocked in at 18:41.4 overall on a rather challenging course in Cookeville.

Right behind her teammate was CBU transfer Helen Pacurariu-Nagy, finishing third overall with a final time of 18:43.7, more than 15 seconds faster than the next runner in the field. Placing fifth individually with a time of 19:01.7 was sophomore Rahab Sawe. In the same pack with Sawe, freshman Ruby Wyles capped a seventh-place performance by recording a time of 19:04.8.

Clinching Tech's victory on the day was Arkansas State transfer Katharina Schmidt, delivering a final kick for a top-20 finish and time of 19:55.6. Making her collegiate debut was Lafayette, Tenn. native Taylor Ward, posting a time of 22:08.7.

"If you look at where we were in the spring, the progress the ladies have made is incredible," Tech head coach Peter Dalton expressed. "I am very proud of their effort over the summer and into this fall and today you could really see that paying off. We will continue to put in that work and look to make some noise at the conference championships in a couple of weeks."

On the men's side, it was a runner-up showing in the 8K for the Golden Eagles, posting 45 points to trail just ETSU in the final standings. Tech finished a whopping 45 points ahead of third-place Southeast Missouri.

Delivering the top performance during the men's 8K was freshman Miceal McCaul, pacing the team with a third-place effort and time of 25:30.2. A trio of Golden Eagles also turned in top-10 showings, led by returning freshman Chase Faudi and his sixth-place finish at 25:56.9.

Fellow returning freshman Clayton Kirkus put forth an impressive final burst in the final stretch, passing a pair of other racers to edge into seventh place with a time of 26:00.1. Rounding out the top-10 production by the purple and gold was senior Ababu Mohamed, clocking in at 26:14.4 to place 10th.

Rookie Nick Beattie completed the scoring for the Tech squad, posting a time of 28:00.7 to finish 27th overall among 55 competitors. Making his collegiate and Tech debut was Cookeville native Austin McCowan, completing his first race in the purple and gold with a time of 30.51.9.

"We were missing Dominic [Smith] today, but the team really put forth another strong effort and are continuing to get stronger as the season progresses," Dalton said. "We have a couple of weeks now to get everyone healthy and continue to fine-tune some things in preparation for conference."

Up Next
Tech will take a couple of weeks to prepare for the OVC Championships, set to be held in Nashville on Saturday, Oct. 30.

Photos by Thomas Corhern and Jim Dillon

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