Luis Orta Named SEC Cross Country Male Athlete of the Week

Sept. 7, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky standout Luis Orta was named Southeastern Conference Cross Country Male Athlete of the Week for his performance at the San Francisco Invitational, announced by the league office Tuesday.

Orta came into the 2010 cross country season as the Wildcat's top male performer and wasted no time defining his role capturing the first individual title of his career. The sophomore completed the 8-kilometer course that stretches through San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in 24:52, surpassing the field by one second. The UK men, led by Orta's individual championship, fell just short of the host University of San Francisco, by a 33 to 54 margin to finish second. Pac-10 power Cal finished third.

"Luis ran a good, smart race," head coach Don Weber said. "He's not in tip-top shape yet but he's healthy. With that said we're excited about the rest of the season and to see how much he can improve."

The native of Caracus, Venezuela missed the Southeast regional, the final event of the 2009 cross country season, due to an injury but still had a successful season earning four All-SEC awards prior to his ailment. His accolades include All-SEC Outdoor Second Team (3,000-meter Steeplechase), All-SEC Outdoor Freshman Team (3,000m Steeplechase), All-SEC Second Team (Cross Country) and All-SEC Freshman Team (Cross Country).

This is Orta's first time winning the league award and the first Wildcat to win an SEC cross country weekly award since Cally Macumber earned SEC cross country female freshman of the week last season.

The Kentucky cross country team will head to New York for its second event of the season, competing in the Iona College Meet of Champions Saturday, Sept. 18.