Wildcats to Race at Old Timers Classic this Weekend

Sept. 18, 2009

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - After posting a solid outing to begin the year, the Kentucky cross country teams look to continue their early-season success when they travel to Bowling Green, Ky., to compete in the Old Timers Classic hosted by Western Kentucky University at Kereiakes Park Saturday. The women's 5K race begins at 11:00 a.m. ET followed by the men's 5-mile competition 45 minutes later.

The Wildcats take the course against the host Hilltoppers, Middle Tennessee State and Eastern Kentucky this weekend. UK leads the field on the women's side having received three votes in last week's United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) national poll to rank 38th nationally. The MTSU women rank 10th in the South Region poll and the Hilltoppers stand 13th in the Southeast Region rankings. The Kentucky men ranked 13th in the Southeast Region preseason poll while the EKU men stand ninth in the region and the Blue Raiders rank 10th in the South Region.

"After opening the season two weeks ago with a relay-format meet, I am eager to have our athletes race as teams," said UK assistant coach of cross country and distance John Mortimer. "It will be our first 5K race for the women and five-mile race for the men. If their recent training sessions are any indication, we should have tremendous fire power up front on both teams and depth in both races."

Two UK freshmen led the way for the Cats in the first meet at Eastern Kentucky as first-year runners Chelsea Oswald and Matt Sonnenfeldt earned Southeastern Conference Cross Country Freshmen of the Week honors. Oswald finished first overall in her opening collegiate cross country race, topping the next competitor by more than 37 seconds. She currently leads the SEC with a three-mile mark of 15:54. Sonnenfeldt turned in the top overall four-mile time of 19:02 to lead the men's field in his collegiate debut. He finished first overall; outpacing the next competitor by more than seven seconds at the Invitational. Sonnenfeldt currently holds the second-best four-mile mark in the SEC.

At EKU, the Wildcat women placed nine runners in the top 11 including junior Katherine Peterson (16:32 - 2nd), freshman Samantha Norman (16:46 - 3rd) and senior Lindsay Petri (16:57 - 5th) who crossed the finish line among the top five with Oswald. In the men's race, UK junior Adam Henken (19:09 -2nd) and freshman Luis Orta (19:28 - 4th) outdistanced the field alongside Sonnenfeldt.

Click on UKathletics.com Saturday for a complete cross country meet recap and results.