Oswald, Sonnenfeldt Named SEC Freshmen of the Week

Sept. 9, 2009

LEXINGTON Ky. - A pair of Kentucky cross country freshmen, Chelsea Oswald and Matt Sonnenfeldt, were named Southeastern Conference Cross Country Freshmen of the Week the league office in Birmingham, Ala., announced late Tuesday.

Oswald finished first overall in her opening collegiate cross country race, topping the next competitor by more than 37 seconds at the Eastern Kentucky Invitational last weekend. The Medina, Ohio, native teamed up with senior Claire Laverty to turn in the top two-person team combined mark. Oswald currently leads the conference with a 3-mile mark of 15:54. Her three 1-mile splits were among the top five in the race, led by an opening mile mark of 5:14. Oswald led nine Wildcat runners among the top 11 finishers as Kentucky cruised to wins over Marshall and host Eastern Kentucky.

Sonnenfeldt turned in the top overall four-mile time of 19:02 to lead the men's field at his opening collegiate meet. He finished first overall while outpacing the next competitor by more than seven seconds at the Invitational. The Knoxville, Tenn., native ran the meet's fastest two-mile clip of 9:24 to close out the race when he picked up the pace over the final 50 yards to overtake a runner from Marshall on the final hill. With his finish, Sonnenfeldt currently holds the second-best 4-mile mark in the Southeastern Conference. Four other Wildcats joined the freshman in the top 10 to push UK past EKU and Marshall.

"Chelsea and Matt both had tremendous high school careers," said assistant coach for cross country and distance John Mortimer. "Both athletes were Footlocker Cross Country National Finalists with Matt placing 21st and Chelsea 14th. Moreover, Chelsea was the Nike Indoor Nationals 5k National Champion and Matt was the Tennessee State cross country champion. Athletically, their transition to UK and the collegiate level has been very smooth. I am very optimistic about their possibilities this season and over the next 4 years!"

The cross country conference awards are the first for the Wildcats since the opening week of last season, when Colin Heenan won freshman and athlete of the week honors from the league.

The UK squads run again Sept. 19 at the Old Timers Classic hosted by Western Kentucky in Bowling Green, Ky.

Stay up-to-date with all of the latest Wildcat cross country news on UKathletics.com.