By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
BOONE, N.C. – The Tennessee Tech men's and women's cross country teams wrapped up action at the season-opening Covered Bridge Open Friday, competing at the Don Kennedy Trails at State Farm Fields in Boone, N.C.
Both teams finished eighth overall among 13 teams in the competition and were led by a familiar group of veterans.
On the women's side, it was junior Helen Pacurariu-Nagy pacing the Golden Eagle effort with a top-25 showing. The Covasna, Romania native raced to a time of 18:18.43 in the 5K race, not far off her career-best showing.
Sophomore Amanda Laboy also turned in a strong showing, clocking in at 19:06.16 to finish second among the Tech participants. Rounding out Tech's top three, junior Rahab Sawe followed right behind Laboy with a time of 19:17.05.
For the men, reigning Ohio Valley Conference Male Freshman of the Year Miceal McCaul set the standard for the event, delivering a time of 26:29.00. Junior Dominic Smith was next among the top Tech finishers, posting a time of 26:49.84.
Sophomores Chase Faudi and Nick Beattie were in the fight late, completing the day with times of 26:54.48 and 27:00.48, respectively. Rookie Carter Bradford put together an impressive collegiate debut, scoring points as the team's fifth finisher. Sophomore Clayton Kirkus also clocked in under 28 minutes, finishing just behind Bradford.
"Both squads ran without being at full strength, but our student-athletes out there have been training well and there were a lot of positives to build on. Helen and Miceal led with confidence while newcomers Carter and Chloe made immediate impacts and will be ones to watch as the season progresses."
The Golden Eagles will return to Cookeville to host the Golden Eagle Invitational on Friday, Sept. 16.
Photos courtesy of Andy McLean