By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – It was a banner day for the Tennessee Tech cross country program, as the Golden Eagles took home a pair of titles at the Chattanooga Invitational Friday morning at Camp Jordan in East Ridge, Tenn.
The men's squad dominated for its first win of the season, collecting each of the top-three times and five of the top six. Scoring 17 points, the purple and gold easily bested host Chattanooga, Bryan College, and the UTK Running Club.
Miceal McCaul led the effort with a medalist finish in the 8K race, clocking in at 24:42.8 for the 19th fastest time in program history. Dominic Smith was second to cross the finish line with a time of 24:53.7.
Clocking a personal record on his way to a third-place performance was Samuel Goodchild, putting forth a time of 25:02.5. Just four seconds back of his teammate, Clayton Kirkus also produced a PR at the event at 25:06.4 to finish fifth.
Closing out the scoring for the Golden Eagles with a sixth-place showing was Chase Faudi and a time of 25:25.1. Four more members of the purple and gold set new career standards on the day, including Nick Beattie (25:52.4), Carter Bradford (26:16.0), Robert Dawson (26:58.1), and Austin McCowan (29:09.0).
The Tech women's team also captured victory, earning a tiebreaker over Chattanooga by going to the sixth runner from each team. Golden Eagle Amanda Laboy topped the Moc's sixth runner, giving the purple and gold its second win of the season with 28 points.
Earning her second medalist honor of the season, Ruby Wyles literally ran away with the top spot for team scoring with a huge personal record in the 5K with a time of 17:22.5. It marked the fifth-fastest 5K in program history and bested her previous PR by more than 22 seconds.
Rahab Sawe followed with a fifth-place performance and monster career showing of her own. Clocking the 12th-best 5K in school history, she narrowly edged her teammate with a time of 17:44.0. Maddie Long was just on her heels at 17:44.7, turning in her own spectacular PR with the 13th-fastest 5K in the history of the program.
In that close group as well, Helen Pacurariu-Nagy placed seventh overall after her own career-low time of 17:47.4, the 16th-best 5K performance by a Golden Eagle ever. Rounding out the scoring crew for the Golden Eagles, Chloe Wade earned an impressive top-10 showing, placing ninth with a 17:54.5 PR.
Laboy's tie-breaking day included a 10th-place finish and personal record time of 18:06.4. The next group of Tech participants also ran well, including Emma Bradford (18:30.4) and a pair of freshmen. Both Kendall Johnson (18:29.4) and Lauryn Jackson (18:36.7) produced great PRs for their rookie campaigns.
Shelby Udovich earned a personal-best mark of 19:22.7 while Makenna Merkley also clocked in a PR, finishing at 19:25.0. Taylor Ward finished at 21:19.6, her own top performance in the purple and gold.
The Golden Eagles are set to return to Cookeville to host the Ohio Valley Conference Championships at the Putnam County Sports Complex on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Photos by TTU Cross Country