Cross Country Runs in Greater Louisville Classic Saturday

Oct. 2, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky cross country teams travel to the Derby City to compete in the Greater Louisville Classic Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET with the men's 8K run followed by the women's 5K race at 10:15 a.m.at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park; admission is free.

Both UK teams have won the first two meets of the season behind strong performances from the freshman class. Rookie runners Cally Macumber and Luis Orta led the Cats across the finish line the last time out. The Classic will be the Wildcats' first chance to test their skills against multiple teams that carry regional rankings. Thirteen men's squads and 10 women's teams at the Classic are ranked in their respective regions according to the latest polls from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), including both Kentucky squads.

The Cats last ran at Sawyer Park during 2007 in the NCAA Southeast Regional and that season's Classic. The UK women took the team title at the Classic two seasons ago while the men placed fifth overall. The Louisville course will again play host to the NCAA Southeast Regional next month.

The 2009 Greater Louisville Classic women's field consists of 25 NCAA Division I teams. The UK women rank No. 6 in the Southeast Region. Host Louisville ranks at No. 5 in the Southeast along with Western Kentucky at No. 8 and Eastern Kentucky in the No. 14 slot. SEC foe Vanderbilt leads three teams ranked from the South Region at No. 7 along with by Middle Tennessee State at No. 12 and Belmont at the No. 15 position. Three other ranked teams round out the competitive field including Missouri at No. 9 in the Midwest region, Purdue at No. 11 of the Great Lakes region and Arkansas-Little Rock at No. 15 in the South Central Region. Ole Miss and Mississippi State of the SEC will also compete at the meet.

This season, the men's field at the Classic also boasts 25 D-I squads. The Wildcat men are No. 11 in the latest Southeast Region poll from USTFCCCA. Also representing the Southeast are the host Cardinals ranked at No. 8, followed by Eastern Kentucky at No. 9 and Davidson at No. 14. Three SEC squads are among the six teams ranked from the South Region: No. 5 Tennessee, No. 7 Mississippi State and No. 14 Ole Miss. Middle Tennessee State at No. 9, Belmont in the No. 11 slot and No. 13 East Tennessee State also represent the South. Two teams from the Great Lakes region are ranked in No. 13 Purdue and No. 14 Central Michigan. Arkansas-Little Rock is the lone ranked team at the event from the South Central region at No. 10. SEC foe Vanderbilt will also compete this weekend.

"The Greater Louisville Classic will be a great test for our runners," said UK assistant coach for cross country and distance John Mortimer. "Each race of this season gets more important and tougher as the season progresses. Our initial challenge will be negotiating the large field size of nearly 500 runners in each race. Then we will see how we measure up against the other SEC teams at the meet, namely Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt."

Two weeks ago at the Western Kentucky's Old Timers Classic, the Wildcat women ran strong as a team placing five harriers, four of whom were freshmen, in the top nine. 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 finish line in 18:29 and first-year runner Samantha Norman ended her race in 18:35 to round out the top five.

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. Orta topped the UK contingent by placing sixth overall in a time of 25:30. Junior Adam Henken ran 25:51 to place next at 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.

UK cross country results and a complete release on Saturday's meet will be available at UKathletics.com.