Sept. 20, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the second time in the first three weeks of the young cross country season, University of Kentucky junior Luis Orta has been named the Southeastern Conference Men’s Runner of the Week. Orta shares the honor this week with Alabama senior Carison Kemei.
Orta won the Tennessee Invitational on Saturday with a time of 25:07.34, defeating all other runners by over 17 seconds on the 8,000-meter course in Maryville, Tenn. The win was Orta’s second of the season, and third in his collegiate career. The native of Caracas, Venezuela has led Kentucky with the fastest time in seven of Kentucky’s last eight races dating back to the 2010 season. Orta’s win helped propel the men’s team to claim first-place honors at the meet, marking their second win in as many races.
This is the third time Orta has been named SEC Men’s Runner of the Week. The junior won the award two weeks ago after his first-place finish at the Belmont-VU Opener in Nashville, Tenn., and at the beginning of the 2010 season after winning the San Francisco Invitational.
The 2009 All-SEC freshman and second-team selection has been a staple up front for the men’s cross country team. Orta earned three top-five overall finishes in 2010, and five top-31 finishes.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete again Oct. 1 at the Greater Louisville Invitational in Louisville, Ky. Both teams are coming off first-place finishes at the Tennessee Invitational, a dual meet between Kentucky and Tennessee.
Go to UKathletics.com for any and all cross country news.