UK Cross Country Finishes on Top at Old Timers Classic
Sept. 19, 2009
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Different runners led Kentucky in the second cross country meet of the season, but the results were the same as the Wildcats outpaced their competition in the Old Timers Classic hosted by Western Kentucky University at Kereiakes Park in Bowling Green, Ky., Saturday.
Although the meet was not officially scored, the runners in Blue and White positioned themselves inside the top 15 of both races. As a result, the top five Wildcats on each team finished before any other team's quintet of would-be scorers this weekend.
The UK women opened the day in a 5K tri-meet against the host Hilltoppers and Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State. The Wildcats ran strong as a team placing five harriers, four of whom were freshmen, in the top nine. Freshman Cally Macumber paced the Cats on the course, placing fourth overall in a time of 18:13. Classmate Amanda Whowell led a quartet of Wildcats in sixth place, clocking in at 18:17. Trailing just a few seconds behind, freshman Chelsea Oswald ran a pace of 18:22 to place seventh. Junior Katherine Peterson crossed the finished line in 18:29 and first-year runner Samantha Norman ended her race in 18:35 to round out the top five.
"Our women had a 22-second gap from runners one to five and 32 seconds from one to six," said assistant coach for cross country and distance John Mortimer. "The ladies work well as a team."
In the 5-mile men's race Kentucky was the only team to place five runners among the top 15, including four in the first 10 competitors across the finish, to outrun the Blue Raiders, Hilltoppers and Colonels of Eastern Kentucky. Freshman Luis Orta topped the UK contingent placing sixth overall in a time of 25:30. Junior Adam Henken ran 25:51 to place seventh, followed closely by freshman Matt Sonnenfeldt in eighth overall who turned in a time of 25:56. Sophomore Matt Wagner finished 10th ending his run in 26:13 while classmate Josh Nadzam placed 15th in 26:50 to round out the top five.
"I thought our guys started out too conservative as a pack in the first mile," added Mortimer, "but they did a great job of aggressively moving through the field to finish with four runners in the top 10, five runners in the top 15 and a decisive team victory."
The Wildcat women are coming off of their fifth NCAA Championship bid in school history in 2008 and started the season ranked 38th in the preseason United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) poll released last week.
The UK men return six runners from a team that placed 13th at the NCAA Southeast Regional last season led by Henken who ran as an individual competitor at the NCAA Championships last season.
The Wildcats compete again in two weeks in the Derby City at the Greater Louisville Classic.
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