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Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles

Tech women capture crown, men finish second at Golden Eagle Invitational

Tech women capture crown, men finish second at Golden Eagle Invitational

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – It was a banner day for the Tennessee Tech cross country teams Friday, as the purple and gold enjoyed great success at the Putnam County Sports Complex while hosting the 2022 Golden Eagle Invitational.

The Tech women took home the overall team title among the seven teams in competition on the day, posting a minuscule 23 points to best former Ohio Valley Conference rival Murray State by 42 points. It marked the second straight year the Golden Eagle women's squad claimed the crown at its own event.

The purple and gold boasted a whopping six of the top-10 finishers in the field of 53 runners, with junior Ruby Wyles pacing the effort in the 6K race for her first individual title win of her career. She smashed the competition with a final time of 23:07.4, besting the next-best time in the event by a whopping 37 seconds.

Finishing second for the Golden Eagles and third overall was Rahab Sawe, clocking in at 23:56.5 to just barely edge out her own teammate. Making her collegiate debut, rookie Ava Costello drafted right behind Sawe, placing fourth in the field with a time of 23:56.7.

Next among the Tech finishers was Cookeville native Maddie Long, cruising in at 24:07.3 for a seventh-place showing. She marked the first of three straight Golden Eagles to cross the finish line.

Sophomore Amanda Laboy provided an eighth-place performance for the Cookeville crew, locking down a time of 24:12.1 to round out the Tech scoring. For good measure, Chloe Wade notched another top-10 showing for the Golden Eagles, placing ninth with a finish of 24:14.5.

"It was a nice win at home and just a really good performance," Tech head coach Peter Dalton expressed. "We were missing Helen [Pacurariu-Nagy], the third-place finisher at last year's OVC Championships, just to be safe. When we add her back in, I think the team looks really strong. It's still early, so we don't need to get ahead of ourselves. It's about peaking at the right time; not just about running as fast as you can, as hard as you can, every time you can.

"It was nice to win today. We have some things to brush up on in the back of the scoring. I thought the freshmen group ran really well for their first 6K, which is a big deal. Conference has gone to 6K from a 5K last year. I think we're gonna be a nice outfit as we ramp into October, and then on into mid-October."

The Tech men captured a runner-up showing at the Golden Eagle Invitational for the second consecutive year, finishing just 10 points behind champion and OVC rival UT Martin.

Reigning OVC Male Freshman of the Year Miceal McCaul rocked it out to the tune of a runner-up performance in the 8K, clocking in at 25:45.3, just three seconds off the pace of the individual champion, Will Cahill of UT Martin. McCaul also placed third at the event last season.

Sophomore Chase Faudi delivered a top-five finish for the Golden Eagles, crossing the final marker in fifth place after a time of 26:14.1. Making his debut for the purple and gold, sophomore Samuel Goodchild came through with a time of 26:28.1 to finish ninth among the 66 competitors.

"It was a good run by McCall up front," Dalton said. "I was impressed with him; he stayed tough. He got beat by a good guy from Martin, and we just lost the team championship to Martin, but second of seven, again, early, but I'm confident in our men. We have some stuff to correct in one or two positions on the men's side, but from two weeks ago in Boone, the men looked really, really good.

"I felt it was nice movement and progression from all of our guys from two weeks ago. You start to see kind of speedwork go on top of the summer strength. This is step one, you go step two into October, and then late October. I think we're going to give it a good swing when we get here in late October."

Next on the docket for the Golden Eagles is the Live in Lou Classic in Louisville on Oct. 1.

Photos by Thomas Corhern and Jim Dillon

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